Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Knife Wielder Sentenced; Girl, 16, Turns Her Life around and Makes a Fresh Start

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Knife Wielder Sentenced; Girl, 16, Turns Her Life around and Makes a Fresh Start

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Irby

WIELDING a big knife and with her face hidden by a mask, a 16-year-old girl robbed a Bundaberg service station of $500 after demanding cash, only to collapse from drugs later that night at Bundaberg Hospital.

It was hospital staff who overheard the ill girl discuss the robbery at the Freedom Fuels servo.

She won't serve any time in custody after making positive efforts to reform herself -- even writing a heartfelt apology on Facebook to her victims.

Now, nearly five months later, the District Court in Bundaberg heard how the girl "felt as if she was outside her body" on drugs at the time she carried out the robbery on Saturday, July 15.

Just before the robbery she also stole cash from a convenience store in Bundaberg East.

And after being released on bail for the robbery charge by a magistrate in the Children's Court, the girl went on to commit dishonesty offences just days later.

The girl pleaded guilty before Judge Anthony Rafter SC to committing an armed robbery at 6.30pm on July 15 in Kendall St; stealing cash from Marshall's East End store the same day; receiving tainted property (a bank debit card) on July 26; and two counts of fraud -- dishonestly applying for her own use a debit card belonging to another person.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said the girl ran into Marshall's East End store and stole "a tip jar" from the counter that held an unknown quantity of money.

Then an hour later she wore a mask to commit the armed robbery at Freedom Fuels and steal $500 from the till.

Mr Cook said her actions left the staff feeling frightened.

"Please don't hurt us," staff said to her.

Mr Cook said the robbery was captured on CCTV and shows her wearing the mask and holding the knife.

"She was located by police at hospital, admitted soon after for suffering a drug overdose," he said.

"Hospital staff overheard her talking. Police interviewed her (later) and she made admissions."

Mr Cook said the girl's associates stole a wallet and 11 days after the robbery she was given the wallet knowing it to be stolen and then used the owner's debit card to defraud. …

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