HAE was charged that he did use a weapon to commit an armed robbery on a 7-Eleven shop in the middle of the night. He walked to the counter of the store, threatened the store attendant with a metallic weapon described as a car jack and demanded cigarettes and cash.
He fled from the 7-Eleven store with approximately $300 cash and a number of packets of cigarettes. He pleaded guilty in the District Court.
The sentencing judge heard evidence from the defendant. A number of psychiatric and psychological reports were tendered confirming the defendant’s pathological gambling addiction and drug abuse. He gave evidence about the impact of his addiction and the context of the offence. The District Court judge was required to consider the guideline sentencing regime for armed robberies. The judge determined the matter was an exceptional case and that a sentence of actual imprisonment would not need to be imposed given the history of the defendant and his prospects into the future.
The District Court imposed a 2 years suspended sentence pursuant to the provisions of section 12 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.