Teen getaway driver shown leniency by court

JUST three minutes.

That's as long as 18-year-old Zechariah David Ooms was willing to wait for his friend who was holding up a Camira bottle shop.

Ooms and his co-offender checked out the Camira store and planned to rob it.

On January 3, this year, Ooms and the, currently unnamed, other man decided to execute their plan.

The co-offender entered the store with a knife and threatened the attendant.

Meanwhile Ooms, who was just 17-years-old at the time, waited in the car, acting as the getaway driver. He agreed to wait three minutes before driving away.

Inside the bottle shop the other man threatened the store clerk and poked him with the knife. He eventually raided the till and fled with hundreds of dollars.

After waiting for more than two minutes Ooms was preparing to drive away when he saw the other man flee the store and run towards him.


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The two left the scene, and Ooms received a share of the take, around $360.

He pleaded guilty at the Ipswich District Court to armed robbery in company on Wednesday.

The court heard Ooms, who had no history of criminal offending, admitted to his part in the robbery to police, who had little evidence against him otherwise.

In a victim impact statement from the store clerk the court heard he still had dreams about the robbery and would wake up thinking about it.

Defence lawyer Steve Kissick said Ooms had never been in trouble with the police before this incident and had never been before a court before.

"First-time offenders who are young and youthful are afforded leniency because rehabilitation is such a factor even in quite serious crimes," he said.

Mr Kissick said the co-offender was the driving force behind the robbery and was currently behind bars facing a number of similar charges.

Ooms was sentenced to two years on probation, with his prospects of rehabilitation taken into account.

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