Toowoomba armed robbery pair avoid jail terms

TWO men have been sentenced to long periods of probation for their role in the armed robbery of a Toowoomba bottle shop last year.

Tyrone William Pearce, 18, and Anyang Lual Anyang, 18, pleaded guilty to the July 4, 2015 armed robbery in company of DeLacy's Hotel.

The Toowoomba District Court heard about 8.30pm that day, Pearce and Anyang, and two other offenders including a juvenile girl, stormed the Ruthven St store with the intention to steal bottles of alcohol.

Crown prosecutor Caitlin Thompson told the court Pearce was armed with a machete and stayed at the front of the bottleshop while Anyang went to the rear of the store.

Both men had attempted to hide their faces with hoods on their jumpers.

Pearce, then aged 17, grabbed two bottles of alcohol before store attendant Jason Coultas told him to drop the liquor and leave.

Pearce then moved his arm holding the machete at which time Mr Coultas noticed the blade.

Meanwhile, Anyang had moved to the front of the store but was empty handed.

He grabbed two boxes of cask wine before he and Pearce fled the store.

Ms Thompson played four CCTV clips to the court showing Anyang and Pearce, the juvenile girl and an unidentified fourth offender, robbing the shop.

Barrister Robbie Davies, for Pearce, said his client had made significant changes in his life since the robbery including living on the Gold Coast and seeking treatment for a diagnosed medical condition.

He said Pearce had very limited criminal history and called on Judge Kiernan Dorney to consider his client's "extreme youth" when sentencing him.

Barrister Scott Lynch, for Anyang, said his client had a difficult background including living in a Kenyan refugee camp before moving to Australia with his family.

Mr Lynch said Anyang had attempted to get his life in order and was in a relationship with a woman with whom he had an 11-month-old son.

He said his client had a previous robbery conviction when he was a juvenile for which he had served a period of detention.

Anyang had spent 205 days in pre-sentence custody, and Pearce 15 days.

Judge Dorney ruled Pearce serve two years and three months probation, and recorded a conviction.

Anyang was given two years and six months probation for the armed robbery in company and eight other charges including stealing and wilful damage.

The convictions were recorded.

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