A homeless man attempted to rob a Ballarat sex store at knifepoint in April 2017 in the hope he would be jailed so he could shower and sleep in a bed.
Ballarat man Peter McCarthy, 53, had been living on the streets for nine to 12 months before the attempted armed robbery at Club X on April 22.
McCarthy entered the Armstrong Street store and demanded staff hand over seven grams of synthetic cannabis before flicking out a 22 centimetre knife.
There was a short exchange between McCarthy and a staff member, who recognised McCarthy as a customer and told him to get out and not to come back.
Police arrested McCarthy a short time later at a car park near the Civic Hall.
McCarthy pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted armed robbery at the County Court at Ballarat on Thursday.
Defence barrister Jennifer McGarvie said her client was significantly drunk and affected by synthetic cannabis when he decided he was fed up with himself because he had not showered in months.
“He made a decision to offend in order to be incarcerated so he could shower and sleep in a bed. He saw that as a way out,” Ms McGarvie said.
She said McCarthy’s offending was at the lower end of the scale, it was not menacing and the knife’s use was limited.
“The victims were not frightened enough to hand over the synthetic cannabis. He did attempt to flee the police but when picked up he made full admissions,” she said.
The court was told McCarthy was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of nine months’ jail in 2010 for an armed robbery at a hotel he regularly visited.
When released from jail, he had six crime-free years before he got caught up with people living on the streets, moved out of his home and started to smoke synthetic cannabis with them, Ms McGarvie said.
She urged the court to consider sentencing her client to a combined jail term and community corrections order. Crown prosecutor Pat Bourke agreed this sentence was within the range.
However Judge Michael McInerney said he was not keen on a combined sentence, saying a straight sentence would be appropriate.
McCarthy, who has served almost 10 months in pre-sentence detention, will be assessed for a CCO.
He was remanded to appear in court on February 8 for sentencing.