BENJAMIN James Woods asked to hug his partner and his parents and say goodbye in Orange District Court on Friday before being led away to serve 12 months in jail for driving the getaway car in a robbery at Wentworth Golf Club.
Woods, 20, was facing a penalty of up to 25 years in jail, however Judge Colin Charteris said he took into account the special circumstances of his youth and prospects of rehabilitation in sentencing Woods to three years and three months in jail with a non-parole period of 16 months, backdated to May this year.
Judge Charteris said the impact of the robbery in April last year on the victim - a staff member counting the day’s takings who was forced to lie on the ground with a gun pointed at the back of his head by one of Woods’ co-accused - was an aggravating factor in sentencing.
Woods waited in the Wentworth Golf Club car park at 7.30pm on April 7 last year while his two co-accused, Adrian John Bunn and Joshua Gary Cooper, entered through an unlocked door near the ladies’ locker room with a single-barrelled shotgun.
“This thuggish behaviour would have been frightening and terrifying, and in my experience people subjected to such an incident such as this don’t recover quickly,” Judge Charteris said.
Judge Charteris said Woods played an important and planned role in the robbery by borrowing a vehicle from a friend, covering the number plates and driving the vehicle out near Lake Canobolas after the robbery, so one of his co-accused could dispose of the gun used in the robbery in bushland.
Judge Charteris said he acknowledged Woods was the sole carer for his three-year-old daughter and, while he accepted comments by the co-accused to Woods about his daughter could have been interpreted as a threat, Woods was a willing participant in the robbery.
Judge Charteris said to his credit Woods had undertaken rehabilitation to get himself off the drug ice (methamphetamine), which he was using at the time of the robbery, and he believes Woods has good prospects for rehabilitation.
The court also heard Woods looked up to his two co-accused who he considered to be like brothers.
Judge Charteris said the psychology report showed Woods was an angry and unsettled child at school who was affected by his parents’ break-up.
Woods has been living at Lyndhurst with his father and three-year-old daughter since he was released on Supreme Court bail, but was later allowed to travel in to Orange to visit his partner.