A MAN who held up a Chinese restaurant where his mother and ex-partner worked, but dropped most of the cash when he tripped on his way out, has been jailed for a maximum of three years and four months.
Josh Gillies, 23, of Cessnock Road, Abermain, was armed with a shortened air rifle when he walked into the Gold Sing Chinese Restaurant in Lang Street, Kurri Kurri about 7.50pm on October 19, 2016.
He would later tell police that his ex-girlfriend was working in the kitchen that night and would question why he would rob a restaurant where his mother was also an employee.
A grey hoodie over his head and a black bandana covering his nose and mouth, Gillies strode into the restaurant and pointed the firearm at a female employee behind the counter, according to an agreed statement of facts.
The woman ducked down, heard the bell above the front door ring and looked up to see the money she was counting and Gillies were both gone.
But on the way out, Gillies clipped something and subsequently dropped a bundle of notes, fleeing the store with only $30 in coins, according to court documents.
Other witnesses had become suspicious of Gillies’ presence outside the store and watched as he fled the restaurant and ran across the road, a rifle in his right hand and a hessian bag clutched to his stomach.
At that moment the hood came off Gillies’ head, revealing part of his face, witnesses said. Gillies sprinted into Hampden Street and jumped into the passenger seat of a white Nissan Pulsar.
But another witness was watching, that person memorised the number plate and called the police when they got home.
Police then pulled over the vehicle in First Street at Weston about 9.20pm that night, arresting Gillies.
Gillies initially denied robbing the restaurant, said he knew his ex-partner was working there that night and questioned why he would rob a restaurant where his mother also worked.
Gillies later pleaded guilty to armed robbery and on Friday in Newcastle District Court he was sentenced to a maximum of three years and four months, with a non-parole period of one year and eight months.
With time already served, he will be eligible for parole in April, 2019.