Church singer sent to prison for Lowood mugging
A CHURCH group singer has been sent to jail after he mugged a 47-year-old man at knifepoint.
At Ipswich District Court, Ngatau Iwhea Brian Ryan pleaded guilty to armed robbery with personal violence.
The victim, Neil Buhse had parked his car at the IGA in Lowood when he was confronted by Ryan.
The 21-year-old appeared agitated and accused Mr Buhse of not stopping for him at a nearby pedestrian crossing.
Crown prosector Noel Needham said Ryan then struck Mr Buhse in the head with a hard object, believed to be the handle of a knife he was holding.
The blow caused Mr Buhse - a father of four - to bleed from the head.
With the knife still in hand, Ryan demanded Mr Buhse hand over his wallet, which he did. The incident occurred at 5.55pm on April 11, 2014.
Ryan fled the scene once the wallet was handed over and was followed by a witness who notified the police of his whereabouts.
Mr Buhse was taken to hospital where he received stitches for a wound above his right ear. He also suffered a concussion.
The now 48-year-old said the incident had left him so shaken he was unable to go shopping at IGA by himself for months afterwards.
Defence barrister Scott Neaves said Ryan was a singer in a church group and had been drunk at the time of the offence.
Mr Neaves said Ryan had a good work history and had undertaken a life skills program during pre-sentence custody.
Before his sentence was handed down, Ryan took a moment to apologise to Mr Buhse, who was also present in court.
Ryan told Mr Buhse he was sorry for what he did that his actions had been out of character.
Judge Greg Koppenol said Ryan's criminal history in Queensland dated back to March 2011 and included charges of wilful damage and stealing.
He said Ryan had this time committed unprovoked violence to a stranger in a public street.
"Our community needs to be protected from people like you and you need to be punished for what you did," he said.
Ryan was sentenced to jail for three years with a parole release date of April 10, 2015.