Customers and staff feared for their life during a robbery at a Wendouree bank, a court has heard.
One customer told police she felt sick, her heart was racing and she thought she might be shot when the offender pointed his hand covered with a paper bag at her.
Jayson Scott Quinton, 46, pleaded guilty at the County Court in Ballarat on Wednesday to one charge of theft and one charge of robbery.
The charges relate to the theft of pantyhose from Woolworths on August 20, 2019 that Quinton put over his head during a robbery at a Commonwealth Bank branch in Wendouree that day.
Crown prosecutor Bruce Nibbs told the court Quinton, who has schizophrenia, had told his father he was going to rob a bank two weeks before committing the crime.
The man's 81-year-old father told his son 'don't be so bloody stupid' and nothing further was discussed.
The court heard Quinton had stayed at his father's house on Norman Street in Wendouree the night before the robbery.
The court heard on August 20, Quinton woke up about 5am and watched television, before asking his father for $20 to buy cigarettes about 9am.
Mr Nibbs said Quinton then walked to the Blue Bell Hotel, drank one pot of beer and played the pokies for about 20 minutes.
The court heard he left the hotel and walked to McDonalds where he asked staff for two paper bags.
Mr Nibbs said Quinton then walked to Woolworths and stole a packet of ladies pantyhose, before walking to the laneway behind the chicken shop where he placed the pantyhose over his head and put a paper bag over his right hand.
The court heard Quinton entered the Commonwealth Bank branch running, with his right arm extended out in front of him, pointing the paper bag at staff and customers.
He yelled, 'this is a hold up, nobody move', and moved 'quickly and immediately' to the teller windows shouting 'give us all the money'.
Seven staff members and six customers were in the bank at the time, with two staff serving customers from behind teller windows.
The court heard one teller worker dropped to the ground and pressed the duress alarm, believing Quinton had a gun.
Mr Nibbs said Quinton walked up to the other teller window, pointed the bag at a customer and said 'move'.
The customer told police she felt sick, her heart was racing and she thought she might be shot.
The court heard Quinton then turned and pointed the paper bag at the teller and repeated demands: 'give me all the money', 'put it in the bag'.
Mr Nibbs said Quinton placed a brown paper bag on the counter and was agitated and jumpy, pointing his concealed hand at staff and customers then back to the female teller behind the window.
The teller told police she presumed the man had a weapon under the bag, so she placed $1080 in the paper bag, handed it to him and said 'that is it, there's no more'.
The court heard Quinton took the bag and ran off.
He was chased by two customers who found him in the optometrist nearby, took the paper bag off him and waited for police to arrive.
Quinton was arrested and he admitted to the offences when interviewed.
When asked why he robbed the bank, Quinton said he was short on cash and did not get money from the state trustees who managed his finances.
When asked why he put the bag over his hand he said 'to hide, it's a great imitation, like I've got a weapon', 'just disguise so it looked like a gun'.
When asked when he decided to rob the bank, Quinton said it came 'naturally' to him that morning.
Defence lawyer Andrew Madden asked for the case to be adjourned so Quinton could undergo a psychiatric assessment.
He said Quinton experienced his first episode of schizophrenia when he was 23-years-old and was taking prescribed medication, information supported by Quinton's father who was present was at court to support him.
Quinton has already served 170 days pre-sentence detention.
The maximum penalty for robbery is 15 years and the maximum penalty for theft is 10 years.
Judge Paul Lacava adjourned the case to allow Mr Madden to gather material on Quinton's mental history.
Quinton will return to court on March 5.
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