Teen robber tells victim 'they're making him do it'
A TEENAGER who told a shop attendant his name as he robbed her at knife point will remain in jail until June after being sentenced in Maroochydore District Court.
Tagan Phillip Smith, 18, told the 63-year-old attendant that he was being made to rob her when he threatened her with a knife about 9.45pm on August 28 last year.
The court this morning heard he and another male had been in the Foodworks Maroochydore supermarket for a while before the robbery, with the other male leaving after the shop attendant became suspicious of Smith's intentions.
Judge David Andrews detailed the facts of the case in court, saying the other male told the woman "he's not my mate", before leaving Smith in the store.
Smith then approached the woman behind the counter and said "lady, I hate to do this to you but they are making me do it".
He told her his name was Tagan.
"If I don't do it I am going to be dead in the morning," he said.
He told the woman if she didn't give him money, he would have to do something he didn't want to do.
The court heard the woman told him not to listen to the person who told him he had to do the robbery but Smith persisted.
"I don't want to do this but I will jump the counter and I will use what I have," he said.
The woman then gave him $200 from the register before Smith grabbed a packet of lollies from the counter and fled.
"I'll take these as well, I haven't eaten for two days," he said.
Smith has been in custody since his arrest on September 2 last year.
He was on probation and bail for previous offences when he committed the robbery.
Defence barrister David Crews said his client had robbed the store to pay a drug debt.
Mr Crews said Smith had been living on the streets since he was 14, surviving from Centrelink funds and washing cars.
"As a result of living on the streets he fell in with the wrong crowd," Mr Crews said.
He said Smith had been a heavy drug user at the time of the offence but had an opportunity to enter a rehabilitation facility for six months on his release from custody.
Judge Andrews sentenced Smith to three years in prison
He noted Smith had already been in custody for six months and set a parole release date of June 2.