Shopkeeper hit with broom in fruit juice robbery

TWELVE months after she took part in an armed robbery in which a store attendant was struck in the face with a broom handle, a mum of two was sentenced to two years jail.

With time already spent in custody she received immediate release on parole.

Brenda Lee Lorna Tyson, 32, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to committing an armed robbery in company at Inala on January 1, 2019.

The court heard she had a lengthy and concerning criminal history but had made genuine efforts while in jail.

Crown prosecutor David Crews said Tyson's past offences included stealing a phone off a 16-year-old youth, and using a nulla-nulla stick during a fight at a party for which she was sentenced to 2 ½ years jail.

Tyson could declare 217 days spent in custody but had served longer because that included time for other offences.

Mr Crews said the victim was working in an Inala groceries store where a man earlier that day stole two cigarette lighters - revealed when she reviewed CCTV footage.

The man returned and she saw him put a carton of cold fruit juice down the front of his pants.

She confronted him using a trolley and a stick (broom handle) to block his exit but Tyson walked into the store.

The store worker was shoved back by Tyson and the man.

Both went to grab the store worker which caused the stick to hit the woman in the face.

Tyson and the man left the store one of them yelling they would "f--- her up".

They were seen to leave in a blue Holden Commodore with a faded bonnet.

Tyson was arrested and charged the next day.

The Crown sought a head sentence of between two and 2 ½ years jail with immediate parole release in range as she had already served more than seven months.

Defence barrister Scott Neaves said Tyson had served sufficient jail time and should be released, saying the facts were at the lower end for such an offence.

Tyson only became involved after someone else had already stolen the juice.

"It is apparent from her criminal history that when she falls foul of the law it is usually when she has been using illicit substances," Mr Neaves said.

He outlined the efforts Tyson had made while in jail, backed up by a letter to the court from the prisoner help group Sisters Inside.

Judge Dennis Lynch QC sentenced her to two years jail and ordered her immediate parole release.

He said there was no evidence of any injury when the woman was struck in the face by a broom handle during a brief struggle.

Judge Lynch said he was satisfied it was not an offence at the high-end of seriousness.

He noted Tyson had done well while a prisoner saying he hoped she would continue to follow through with her efforts but this could not be achieved if she used drugs.

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