A man who robbed a fast-food restaurant for chicken while armed with a knife has put his offending down to drunkenness and stupidity.
On December 2, 2019 about 9.30pm, Abraham Mills-Oppy, 24, and his 25-year-old co-offender, Jesse Milne, arrived at KFC in Eaglehawk.
The most senior employee there at the time was the 20-year-old assistant manager; the remaining five staff were all under 18, the youngest 15 years old.
Milne went inside the store and began demanding chicken, before threatening to "jump over the counter and start smashing everything", and pull the assistant manager over the counter if he did not start packing food.
He then screamed, "This is a robbery".
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Meanwhile, Mills-Oppy got out of the car, wrapped a cloth around his face so only his eyes were showing, and tucked a knife into his jacket.
He entered the store and yelled at the assistant manager, demanding food.
He reached for his knife and Milne told him it was not needed, but two employees saw it.
The pair left the store with chicken and drinks.
A short time later police tried to pull over Oppy-Mills' car, but Milne - who was driving - sped away.
The two were arrested at McDonald's in California Gully about an hour after the robbery.
Police found the stolen food and a hunting knife about 30 centimetres long in the car.
Milne told police he was drunk "on a whole cask of wine", and Mills-Oppy said the pair became hungry.
Mills-Oppy said he "went a bit silly" when he took the knife into store.
He told police he was drunk, "running around like a dickhead" and ashamed of his actions.
"All I wanted was the chicken, I didn't want the money. I wasn't going to hurt nobody," Mills-Oppy told police.
Last month, Milne was sentenced to 136 days' imprisonment, already served, after pleading guilty to robbery (as he did not have a weapon) and failing to stop for police.
Mills-Oppy pleaded guilty in the County Court this week to armed robbery.
Judge Trevor Wraight said his conduct escalated the incident.
"Thus, what was already undoubtedly a frightening experience for the young employees, became a more serious and confronting experience upon seeing you enter the store with your face covered, yelling demands," Judge Wraight said.
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While Mills-Oppy's offending was at the lower end of seriousness for armed robbery, he said, it remained a significant crime.
But Judge Wraight said Mills-Oppy had shown remorse, facilitated justice with his plea of guilty, had worked on rehabilitation while in custody, and had the support of his family.
The judge said Mills-Oppy had positive prospects of rehabilitation, and received a discount on his jail term due to the COVID-19 pandemic making time in custody more onerous.
Judge Wraight sentenced Mills-Oppy to 18 months' imprisonment, with a non-parole period of nine months.
He had already served 172 days at the time of sentencing on Friday.
Had he not pleaded guilty, he would have spent at least 14 months in jail.
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