South Perth: man who threatened shopowners with replica revolver imprisoned

Stock image.
Stock image.

A 35-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to five years and nine months in prison after robbing a Belmont service station then terrorising South Perth shop owners with a replica revolver later that day.

Lewis John Taylor faced two charges of armed robbery, one of attempted armed robbery and one of being armed or pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear today at the Supreme Court.

At 12.40am on Monday, March 19, Mr Taylor approached the doors of a Belmont service station, which did not open automatically as it was so late at night.

A woman working behind the counter asked him to remove his hood then opened the doors.

Mr Taylor proceeded to pull a black balaclava over his face as he approached the woman, and she ran to a staff office and pressed a duress alarm to summon police.

The man tried to open the cash drawer and when he was unsuccessful, levered it out with a meat cleaver.

There was $284.25 in the drawer.

At 5.10pm, Mr Taylor entered a boutique at the South Shore Piazza in South Perth, where he stole money, cards and photos while staff were standing out of the shop in the alfresco area.

As he walked by the staff members, the owner noticed some items he was holding, and ran back to the shop where she realised what had happened.

The owner followed Mr Taylor into the neighbouring newsagency, where he surrendered some layby cards and photos but swore at the woman when she pressed him for the money.

Mr Taylor proceeded to point a replica revolver at the woman and the newsagency owner, before fleeing and re-entering the Piazza.

He entered a hair salon and attempted to steal from the cash register, but was wrestled to the ground by the owner and a customer before police arrived at the scene to arrest him.

At Perth police station, Mr Taylor said he was under the influence of drugs and had not slept in three days.

His defence said the man had an extensive record of substance abuse, and his recent meth use had led to a $2000 debt to his dealer, who encouraged him to commit offences to get the money.

Justice Stephen Hall said Mr Taylor had suffered significant family trauma in his life, but that the drug debt was not a mitigating factor, the offences had been planned and a number of people had been intimidated.

“Your history is sad but it doesn’t justify what you did,” he said.

Mr Taylor will be eligible for parole in three years and nine months.