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On 3 April 2013, Richard Lawson, from Lawson Legal, appeared before Justice Heenan, in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, in relation to an armed robbery offence.

In the matter of The State of Western Australia v Thomas [2013] WASCSR 59, the accused pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery at earliest opportunity.  Mr Thomas attended a Subway outlet with the intention of committing an armed robbery.  Mr Thomas presented a syringe filled with his own blood and demanded the fast food outlet hand over cash, which amounted to $346.  Justice Heenan accepted that the offending behaviour by Mr Thomas directly related to his heroin addiction.  Normally, armed robbery attracts a disposition of immediate imprisonment.  However, since the offence, Mr Thomas achieved substantial progress in overcoming his addiction and was given a conditional suspended sentence.

Mitigating factors, submitted by Richard Lawson, included an early plea of guilty, and his co-operation with police in their investigation.  A further significant factor in mitigation was the management and rehabilitation of Mr Thomas’s heroin addiction.  At the time of the offence, Mr Thomas had no previous criminal record.  The Court awarded the sentence of four years imprisonment, which was conditionally suspended for two years.

In the matter of The State of Western Australia v Clarke [2013] WASCSR 11, Richard Lawson represented the accused on one charge of aggravated armed robbery.  Mr Clarke entered a convenience store in Port Kennedy with an adult accomplice and two juvenile offenders, armed with hammers.  One of the juveniles struck the attendant around the head area with a hammer.  All the offenders then fled the scene with one packet of wine gums.

Mr Clarke pleaded guilty at earliest opportunity and had a previous minor criminal record.  The offence was committed in company, clearly planned and injuries were inflicted upon the shop attendant.  Justice Hall determined that the use of violence with the infliction of injuries on the victim placed this offence in a more serious category, making suspension inappropriate.  Justice Hall determined that a disposition of immediate imprisonment was the only appropriate sentence to be imposed.

Mr Clarke was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of two years and three months, with eligibility for parole.

Should you, or anyone you know, need any help in relation to armed robbery offences, or any other criminal matters, contact Lawson Legal for your free initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal lawyers.