‘Shame on you’: Armed trio ambushed pizza delivery drivers
SIX pizzas, some soft drinks and desserts were the spectacular spoils of an ill-conceived heist involving four men ambushing two delivery drivers at knifepoint.
The nasty attack took place at night when the Domino's Pizza drivers were lured to a street to drop off an order, while the robbers lay waiting.
Ipswich District Court heard a threat was made to "cut the throats" of the drivers.
While the suspected knife offender remains on the run, his three co-offenders were on Wednesday sentenced for their role in what the judge called "an amateurish escapade."
The young men are New Zealand citizens and will now face the prospect of deportation.
Judge Dennis Lynch QC made a point of telling defendants Meatuai Tapasu, Benjamin Tomasi, and Iosia Joseph Fa'amaile, that all they got out of their crime was $167 worth of pizza, drinks and dessert.
"You should be ashamed of yourselves. I conclude it would have been terrifying (for the delivery drivers) and they would have been very frightened," Judge Lynch said.
"All of you have brought shame upon yourselves and your families."
Meatuai Tapasu 26, from Bundamba, Benjamin Tomasi, 24, from Redbank and his brother Iosia Joseph Fa'amaile, 19, each pleaded guilty to two charges of committing robbery in company when armed with a knife at Redbank Plains on February 26, 2019.
Crown prosecutor Gabe Bednarek said the fourth offender who brandished the knife was still at large.
The robbery took place just before 11pm when the two drivers delivered an order to a street in Redbank Plains.
Three men got out of a black sedan and Fa'amaile, the driver, remained inside.
Mr Bednarek said Tapasu grabbed a pizza bag from inside the delivery car and the fourth offender made deliberately unsuccessful attempts to pay on eftpos.
Mr Bednarek said the offender "messed around" then pulled out a knife, saying "don't look at us, give us the money".
Tomasi removed a second pizza bag while the fourth offender demanded "all right boys I need the money you have".
Despite being told they had no money, he again said "I need money now" … "Give me your money or I will cut your f***ing throat".
He also demanded the key to their car.
The four offenders eventually drove off after being told again by the drivers that they had no money to hand over.
Mr Bednarek said police stopped the black car the next day with two of the offenders in it.
A knife, Domino's hot cell pizza boxes, and the Honda key to the delivery driver's car were all found inside.
Tapasu was arrested on February 27 and spent 71 days in jail before getting bail.
The two brothers Fa'amaile and Tomasi spent 22 hours held in custody after taking themselves to the Springfield police station.
Mr Bednarek said Tapasu admitted that he used the Domino's Ap to order the pizzas and drinks that night.
Fa'amaile admitted he drove the group and knew the robbery was planned.
Tomasi admitted knowing a robbery was to occur and that he also saw the knife.
"The Crown's description (agreed facts) shows it really was an amateurish escapade," Judge Lynch said.
Defence barrister Matthew Jackson sought a probation order for Fa'amaile because of his youth and lesser role as the getaway driver. He also cited the "hardship" of being deported with his family residing in Australia.
Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme for Tapasu said it was accepted there had been a level of pre-planning but Tapasu's involvement seemed to have been relatively minor.
"He expresses to me it was just sheer stupidity," Mr Seaholme said.
"He is the only one to have spent time in custody, 71 days. And he does face the prospect of deportation to New Zealand."
He sought a jail term of no more than two years with suspension, having spent 71 days in jail.
Defence barrister Daniel Carvana said the prospect of going into jail was "terrifying" for Tomasi, a father of three children.
Judge Lynch also read a series of references about the men, saying it seemed they were otherwise decent men who belonged to Queensland's Samoan community.
Fa'amaile was sentenced to complete a three-year probation order. No was conviction recorded.
Tapasu was sentenced to a two-year jail term on each offence, immediately suspended for three years having served 71 days.
Tomasi received a two-year jail term on each offence, immediately suspended for three years.