Employee scares off armed bandit, court hears

A YOUNG man disguised in a woman’s wig and wearing a long trench coat concealing a sawn-off rifle, cocked the gun in a sex shop worker’s face before demanding the victim open a cash register, a Ballarat court has heard. 

But Justin Nathan Wilson, 22, of Keilor Downs, left Club X in Armstrong Street North with nothing after the employee produced an iron bar and refused to hand over cash. 

Wilson appeared in the County Court at Ballarat yesterday where he pleaded guilty to the attempted armed robbery. 

The court heard Wilson and a co-accused had been coming off heroin when they devised the plan to commit the armed robbery on June 24 last year. 

Crown prosecutor Tim Hoare said the co-accused put fake number plates on his car and provided Wilson with the wig, trench coat and sawn-off .22 calibre rifle before the pair drove to the shop about 9.45pm. 

Mr Hoare said Wilson cocked the rifle while holding it on the employee, “making it go ‘click’”.

The court heard the employee produced a crow bar from underneath the counter and Wilson eventually ran from the shop with nothing. 

Mr Hoare said Wilson and the co-accused then drove back to the co-accused’s home where the co-accused buried the number plates in the back yard. 

The pair was arrested about two months after the attempted armed robbery and both made full admissions to police. 

Reading from the co-accused’s police interview, Mr Hoare said the co-accused told police he and Wilson had been sitting around “just talking about armed robberies that had gone on before in the town”.

“We’d say both men are equally responsible,” Mr Hoare told the court. 

The co-accused is expected to plead guilty in the Melbourne County Court next week. 

Judge Michael McInerney adjourned Wilson’s matters until June 11 in order for a pre-sentence report to be completed. 

The report will assess whether Wilson, who has no prior convictions, is suitable for a justice plan.