A Gympie man spent six months in jail after robbing a youth worker and committing a string of offences. (File photo).
A Gympie man spent six months in jail after robbing a youth worker and committing a string of offences. (File photo).

‘Very unwell’: Robber threatened youth worker, child

A YOUTH worker in the company of a juvenile handed over his credit card to a robber because he was worried the man would attack them both, the Gympie District Court heard this week.

Callum Jay Laird, 25, approached the pair on March 14 and demanded money, causing concern to the victims because he was "clenching his fist and may have been holding some instrument".

Laird wasn't armed, but his intimidations led to the worker handing over a Commonwealth Bank debit card. The worker gave him a false PIN number, preventing him from making any withdrawals.

Laird pleaded guilty to one count of robbery in the court on Wednesday along with some 16 summary offences, including multiple related offences of attempted fraud in which he tried to use the debit card he stole from the worker.

Judge Gary Long noted public nuisance, obstructing police, trespass and common assault committed at the Community Action Youth Service among Laird's summary offences.

Judge Long detailed that Laird had hit one of the Community Action employees in the face with a cup of water after initially not being allowed through the door of the premises.

A "number of relatively minor stealing offences" mostly involving food items from shops were also detailed to the court among Laird's offending, committed between September 10 last year and the date he was apprehended for the robbery.

Laird told the court he was a "very unwell individual", with Judge Long noting he had no fixed address and had been dealing with significant mental health issues over that time.

The court heard Laird was no living at a facility where he had access to ongoing psychiatric treatment and was subject to regular drug testing, which Judge Long said indicated "a degree of stability" where there hadn't been before.

A worker from the Richmond Fellowship was in the court to support Laird.

Laird was sentenced to 18 months' jail for the robbery, suspended for two years after he had served 183 days in pre-sentence custody between March 15 and September 13.

He was convicted and not punished on the summary offences.

Gympie Times

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