The offending of a man who tried to rob a fast food restaurant while armed with a pair of scissors was a "cry for help", a court has been told.
Early on the afternoon of June 8 this year, 40-year-old Adrian David Laird went to the Hungry Jacks restaurant on High Street, opposite the Bendigo police station.
He pointed a pair of scissors at the victim, a restaurant employee working behind the counter, and said, "Give me money" twice.
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The County Court was told the employee feared for her life and put a $20 note on the counter, but Laird left without taking the money.
Police arrested Laird outside the restaurant without incident.
Earlier that day, Laird had gone into the police station while holding the scissors and demanded he be shot by police.
They took him to Bendigo Health, where he was given a dose of Valium and released.
After his arrest, Laird was deemed not fit for interview, but said he had not slept for two days and had used methamphetamine the night before.
Laird pleaded guilty in the County Court on Monday to attempted armed robbery.
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In written submissions to the court, defence lawyer Eleanor Millar said Laird had no real intention of harming the staff at Hungry Jacks.
Ms Millar said he had what appeared to be nail scissors with him and did not want money.
"His offending was instead a cry for help when he felt that he had exhausted all other options," she submitted.
Ms Millar said the offending was at the lower range of seriousness for a number of reasons, including the lack of a threat of violence and the unsophisticated nature of the crime.
The court was told Laird was homeless and living on the streets at the time of the offending, and had grown up in a neglectful and sometimes abusive environment.
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Ms Millar said he had longstanding mental health issues, and a psychologist diagnosed him with several conditions.
The psychologist reported Laird was acutely mentally unwell at the time of the offending.
Ms Millar submitted a term of imprisonment with a lengthy period of parole was the most suitable sentence, telling the court that Laird would need significant support with his mental health and drug use upon his release into the community.
Prosecutor Andrew McCowan said he did not disagree with the defence submissions.
Judge Rachelle Lewitan adjourned sentencing to a future date.
Laird remains in custody.
If you or someone you know needs help for mental health concerns, contact:
If someone is at imminent risk of harm, call 000.
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