Prison for knife wielding thief

Shop owner charges at knife man with broom

A HOMELESS Bendigo man has been jailed over an attempted knife robbery at the Williamson Street 24 Hour General Store which left an employee suffering anxiety.

Brandon Townsend, 20, entered the business on August 11 last year and asked for a packet of cigarettes.

He told the attendant he had forgotten his wallet, left the store, and came back armed with a knife.

Townsend, who had been evicted from a caravan earlier in the day, demanded money from a 20-year-old woman behind the counter.

She fell to the floor and he continued to berate her, before the owner charged at him with a broom.

The woman provided a Victim Impact Statement to court detailing anxiety, fear of unknown men, nightmares, and an inability to focus on her year 12 studies following the incident.

Townsend, who stole the knife from a supermarket on the day of the offence, was arrested soon after the incident.

He made admissions and showed police where the knife was discarded.

Townsend was diagnosed with ADHD at age 11, and had since been diagnosed with substance dependence, paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar and other mental illnesses.

He has no family support after being ejected from his home at age 16 and has no contact with his father.

He pleaded guilty at an early stage in legal proceedings which avoided the need for a trial, and expressed remorse over his actions.

Townsend was sentenced over one count of attempted armed robbery and one charge of theft in the County Court in Melbourne on Thursday.

Judge Wendy Wilmoth imposed a six-month prison sentence for the theft charge and an 18-month sentence for the armed robbery charge, served concurrently, with a non-parole period of 10 months.

He has already served 235 days in custody and will be eligible for parole in two months.

The maximum penalty for theft is 10 years' jail, and 20 years' imprisonment for attempted armed robbery. 

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