Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

{WE THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO DIE} {Man Jailed for Goonellabah Armed Robbery }; Robber Says Sorry as His Victims Tell How Gunpoint Theft Changed Their Lives

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

{WE THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO DIE} {Man Jailed for Goonellabah Armed Robbery }; Robber Says Sorry as His Victims Tell How Gunpoint Theft Changed Their Lives

Article excerpt

Byline: HANNAH ROSS hannah.ross@northernstar.com.au

HER voice shaking with emotion, Jennifer Foster yesterday described the night a single-barrel shotgun was pointed at her head as she lay with her eyes closed on the floor of the Workers Sports Club at Goonellabah.

Ms Foster was working at the club's reception desk on July 27 last year.

It was an average Sunday night shift until 7.45pm, when an armed offender entered the club, vaulted the reception desk and pointed the shotgun at Ms Foster and her supervisor, Suzanne McIntyre.

He forced them to get down on the floor of the office, looted several cash tills Ms McIntyre had just brought in, and made off with more than $18,000.

Reading from her victim impact statement in Lismore District Court yesterday, Ms Foster said it was not until she was on the floor with her eyes closed that she realised what was really happening.

"I was absolutely terrified. I didn't know if he would shoot us - I could only think please make it quick, I don't want to feel any pain," she said.

"I was wondering if I would see my family again. I was wondering if my dad would be waiting for me on the other side.

"They say your life flashes before your eyes and that's true. I was trying to remember what my kids were wearing that day so I could hold on to that."

Close to 12 months after the armed robbery, Ms Foster and Ms McIntyre came face-to-face with their attacker in court yesterday.

James Allan Cook, 25, of Casino, kept his eyes on the women as they read aloud their statements.

Later in the witness stand he described his life of heroin addiction, juvenile detention, homelessness, estrangement from his father and baby daughter and a mother who suffered her own battles with heroin as he was growing up.

At the time of the sports club robbery, Cook was using amphetamines at least three times a day. …

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