A man who carried out armed robberies in Brooklyn, Williams Landing and Tarneit in July, 2016, has been sentenced to six years prison.
Benjamin Sweet pleaded guilty in the County Court to three counts of armed robbery and theft of a motor car as part of a crime spree across the western suburbs in the early hours of July 10 last year.
The court heard that Sweet stole a car in the Melton area early in the night, before driving with a female friend to a BP service station in Brooklyn, where he got into an argument with the attendant over a cold pie.
Sweet pulled a firearm on the attendant, forcing him to the back of the service counter before stealing several items from the counter and fleeing.
He then drove to a McDonalds in Williams Landing, where his friend tried to get out of the car. After forcing her to stay in the car, Sweet entered the McDonalds and got into an argument with the manager. The court heard Sweet cocked his firearm. Hearing that sound, his friend drove away in the stolen car. Sweet then took car keys from the McDonalds manager and drove away in her car.
Sweet drove to a BP in Tarneit where he robbed a taxi driver of about $50.
Police located the second stolen car in Hoppers Crossing a few days later.
They arrested Sweet on July 26 after identifying him from CCTV footage of the three robberies.
In a witness impact statement, the McDonalds manager said she had been profoundly affected by the ordeal.
“I’ve truly lost the person I used to be,” she said. “My determination, independence, drive and judgment have completely diminished with the absolute low point when I was diagnosed with PTSD. It affected my entire life.
“I hope you can understand, before this happened to me, I was a young, bubbly woman full of determination, laughter and had a massive future ahead of me. I’ve lost all that, I just want my life back.”
Sweet will be eligible for parole after four years, with 13 months of his sentence already served in pre-sentence detention.