Out of jail for one offence, straight back in for another

A MAN who led a Bonnie-and-Clyde crime spree along the NSW North Coast completed his stint behind bars only to walk straight into another prison term for similar crimes.

Christopher James Burgess has spent the last three and a half years in a NSW jail after stealing a car from Queensland and jumping the border to commit armed robbery and theft.

Leaving jail this month, Burgess returned to his home state of Queensland to face a separate string of theft offences committed a month before his NSW crime spree.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court on Wednesday to armed robbery in company, stealing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Klemm said that a month after Burgess committed those offences in Brisbane, he stole a car with another man and headed south.

Burgess drove through the drive-through at McDonald's in Ballina on September 26, 2009, and smashed a window before leaning in and grabbing the till.

The next day he stole from a video store in Woolgoolga and later in Coffs Harbour.

Police tried to stop Burgess during a chase and drew their pistols but he accelerated towards them
He was later arrested and in 2010 sentenced to three and a half years in jail.

Once he completed his prison term in NSW, a similar punishment awaited him in Queensland.

Ms Klemm said in August 2009, Burgess robbed a woman at knifepoint at a Brisbane petrol station.

He also stole another person's car and cigarettes from a video store.

Defence barrister Julian Noud said his client had a problem with drugs at the time but had turned a corner.

He said Burgess had completed various courses in jail and planned to work with his father when released.

The victim of Burgess's armed robbery sat in court sobbing as Chief Judge Patricia Wolfe recounted the impact the crime had left on her.

Chief Judge Wolfe said the victim worked very hard with her husband to make their business viable.

"She lost all confidence and can't work properly at night," she said.

"You have taken away all that from her and left a permanent scar on her well-being."

Chief Judge Wolfe wholly suspended Burgess's jail term of five years.

She asked him to work with his father and show his remorse by passing on the money earned to his victim.

Burgess was ordered to pay $2000 compensation each year for four years through the courts.

Topics:  brisbane district court jail theft

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