The man who robbed Moe’s Westpac bank on 23 September last year was affected by a “cocktail of stimulants and OxyContin” on the day of the offence.
In handing down his sentence on Tuesday, Judge Gavan Meredith said Jason Paul Tansley, 40, carried out surveillance inside the bank on the day of the robbery, withdrew $35 from his daughter’s account, and carried out further surveillance before dressing in a white beanie and dark cloth with eye and mouth holes.
The court heard how Tansley took a silver-coloured imitation pistol and kitchen knife into the bank where there were five people including staff at the time, and yelled ‘put your money on the counter, get down, put your money on the counter, get down’.
Judge Meredith said while the pistol was fake, Tansley’s victims were “not to know this”.
“You pointed the pistol at staff and yelled ‘give us your money’,” Judge Meredith said.
Staff then handed over $8900.
Judge Meredith said Tansley took the car keys and purse left by a customer, left the bank and drove away in his own car, before being apprehended by police.
Police later recovered the imitation pistol and knife along a roadside, near where Tansley said he disposed of them.
The customer’s car keys were also found, along with Tansley’s empty black backpack.
The $8900 was never recovered.
Judge Meredith sentenced Tansley to six years, five months and 28 days in prison, with a non parole period of four years and six months.
He said while Tansley was drug-affected by a “cocktail of stimulants and OxyContin” on the day, he was able to drive a car, conduct surveillance and disguise himself.
“I reject your instructions of limited recall,” Judge Meredith said.
“Your offending is relatively calculated in my view.”
The Latrobe Valley man had pleaded guilty to five charges including armed robbery, possessing the imitation pistol, possessing a drug of dependence, and stealing the bank customer’s purse and keys. He pleaded guilty to dishonestly receiving a stolen Samsung mobile phone between 2 May 2013 and the day of the robbery.
Judge Meredith referred to the victim impact statements of the five people present in the bank, saying they had since experienced anxiety and sleeplessness and some had seen a deterioration in their relationships.
He acknowledged Tansley experienced a “chaotic” upbringing and was now trying to make a fresh start.
Judge Meredith said Tansley had at times worked as a chef and had been in a relationship for the past five years, but had struggled with substance abuse.
He referred to a doctor’s examination of Tansley, which found he had borderline personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder which impaired his ability to exercise appropriate behavioural judgement.
“I accept there is a modest reduction in your culpability,” Judge Meredith said.
He pointed out it was not Tansley’s first offence and he was on a four-month suspended sentence for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
“You state you are motivated to change. Whilst somewhat guarded, I am of the opinion your rehabilitation prospects are positive,” Judge Meredith said.