Patrick John Wallace Leggett robbed the BWS on Bridge Rd for alcohol and smokes in 2014 and 2018.
Patrick John Wallace Leggett robbed the BWS on Bridge Rd for alcohol and smokes in 2014 and 2018. Peter Holt

Amateur armed robber tells victim 'I'm sorry'

A FAKE armed robber told his 22-year-old victim "I'm sorry" as he made off with booze and smokes from a West Mackay liquor store.

Patrick John Wallace Leggett tried to hide his face with a white hat and sunglasses as stepped inside a BWS on Bridge Rd.

He told the shop assistant he had cancer and needed her to carry and place three bottles of whiskey and two six packs of pre-mix alcohol, as well as packets of cigarettes, in his duffel bag.

"I'm sorry to do this, you seem like a really nice person but this is a stick-up... you see that's why I have the sunnies on, look," he told her on October 16 last year.

"Remain calm. If you just let me walk out the store, no one's going to get hurt."

Crown prosecutor Ben Jackson said Leggett reached for his hip as he made the threat.

Mackay District Court heard the young woman believed he had a knife or some type of weapon.

Leggett drank the whiskey and passed out; his housemate rang the ambulance and he was taken to hospital.

Mr Jackson told the court it seemed like Leggett was deliberately trying to get himself thrown in jail "because life is easier for him".

"I make that submission because he has basically laid the seeds for his own arrest," Mr Jackson said.

"There are no signs, really, of any true sophistication in this robbery."

The court heard in November 2014 Leggett robbed the same store armed with a knife, telling the shop assistant "this is a stick-up" before revealing his name and address.

In 2009, he was jailed for arson after he burned down the family home while in the throes of emotional distress.

The court heard this was following a marriage breakdown after his eight-month-old daughter died from pneumonia.

Barrister Stephen Byrne said the 52 year old had significant physical and mental health issues including schizophrenia, depression and psoriasis of the liver.

"He did not mean to scare the complainant and he didn't mean to threaten her either," Mr Byrne said, adding that his client had been in pre-sentence custody for more than nine months.

Judge Deborah Richards although there was no violence involved, the incident "would have been frightening" for the young woman.

Leggett pleaded guilty to armed robbery and enter premises with intent. He was jailed for four years with parole eligibility on April 17 next year.