knife crime
knife crime

I’m sorry, this is how I survive: Robber’s weak excuse

AN apologetic armed robber has been sentenced after he threatened two Townsville service station workers with a knife.

"I'm sorry, this is how I survive," Clem Griffiths Goodman told a Caltex employee he threatened in July last year.

The 46-year-old had just moved to Townsville from Mornington Island and was struggling financially, Townsville District Court heard.

On July 5, 2019, Goodman robbed a cashier at knifepoint at the Coles Express in Annandale. Two days later he robbed the Caltex on Ross River Rd at knifepoint after an attempted robbery at a fish and chips shop was foiled by a lack of cash at the store.

Defence barrister Kelly Stone said his client had been apologetic towards the people he threatened.

"His apparent demeanour in them (the robberies) has not been threatening, overbearing or loud, almost apologetic," Mr Kelly said.

"In the first robbery as he was leaving he said 'thank you, thank you'.

"At the third robbery, as the complainant emptied coins on to the counter he said, 'I'm sorry, this is how I survive, this is enough, get me some smokes'.

"He's not trying to empty the shop of everything it's got.

"Whilst there is obviously fear at being confronted with somebody holding a knife, he hasn't attempted to exacerbate that fear through his conduct."

Crown Prosecutor Joshua Francis said Goodman, who was heavily intoxicated at the time of the robberies, had asked for all the money from the till and several packets of Peter Jackson cigarettes at both robberies.

Mr Francis said at the Caltex, Goodman stood in the aisle of the store until all the customers had left.

"He then asked for everything in the till," Mr Francis said. "He then repeated that request and pulled a knife from his hip and placed it on the counter. The complainant complied, opened the cash register gave him cash and cigarettes and ultimately he made off with $324 in cash and three packets of cigarettes."

Mr Francis said Goodman caught a taxi to a relative's house after robbing the Caltex. He booked the taxi under his own surname which police used to track him down.

When police found Goodman at the house they found the cash and cigarettes and Goodman showed police where he had stashed the knives and clothes worn during the robberies.

Judge Gregory Lynham said Goodman's offending was unsophisticated and he had co-operated with police after the armed robberies. He was given a four-year head sentence, with a parole eligibility date of May 22. He served 365 days in pre-sentence custody.