Ryan Christopher Neville Turmaine, 24, robbed Nick's IGA while armed with a fork.
Ryan Christopher Neville Turmaine, 24, robbed Nick's IGA while armed with a fork.

How the fork-point armed robbery case played out

AN ARMED robber who threatened to stab a supermarket staff member during a "terrifying" ordeal at fork-point has walked free from custody.

Ryan Christopher Neville Turmaine had wandered into Nick's IGA on December 7, 2018, because he was hungry.

But in a "spur of the moment" decision he grabbed a metal barbecue fork from inside the store, went up to the counter and demanded cash while brandishing the weapon.

"He did threaten to stab the (victim) on more than one occasion," Crown Prosecutor Claudia Georgouras said.

Mackay District Court heard at one point Turmaine moved behind the counter to take cigarettes and cash while the victim was nearby.

"It would have been a terrifying incident," Ms Georgouras said.

As a result, Turmaine has spent the past 373 days in custody following his arrest.

The 25 year old pleaded guilty to the armed robbery at the Bridge Rd store as well as a string of offences including burglary, car theft, stealing, break and enter and fraud.

Barrister Scott McLennan said Turmaine's offending occurred during a "short spree" after he fell back into drug use.

"He hadn't even thought about committing the armed robbery when he walked in," Mr McLennan said.

"He walked past the barbecue fork and decided spur of the moment.

"He has a real sense of shame about the offence."

The court heard he had no relationship with his father and had been removed from his mother's care.

"Despite this grossly prejudicial upbringing he had there are two significant periods in his life where he's worked in very demanding jobs," Mr McLennan said, adding that his client was motivated to stay off drugs and find work on his release.

Judge Julie Dick said the "going rate" for this type of robbery was three years and told Turmaine his offending "tells a story".

"You were off the rails," Judge Dick said.

But she told the court she wanted to frame an order that would allow him to try to turn his life around.

"I'm also very conscious of the fact that you've already been in custody for over 12 months," she said.

The court heard while in custody he had completed a drug and men's health course.

He was jailed for three years with immediate parole. Convictions were recorded.

"I've not been overly kind to you because if you fail a drug test or fail to take it or commit an offence, you just go back to custody," Judge Dick said.