Jail for drug addicts after near-farcical robbery of Warrnambool Bowls Club

TWO drug addicts who netted just $255 in a 12-day crime spree of break-ins and the almost farcical armed robbery of the Warrnambool Bowls Club have received substantial jail sentences.

Brett Donald Roche, 24, of St Albans, and Rodney Leonard Norman Brown, 46, of Bateman Court, Warrnambool, pleaded guilty earlier this month in the Warrnambool County Court — Roche to 22 offences and Brown 17. 

Roche was jailed for five years and will have to serve three years and nine months before being eligible for parole. 

Brown was imprisoned for four years and will have to serve three years before being eligible for parole. He has already served 220 days in custody.

Judge Paul Grant said the pair had been involved in a 12-day crime spree involving serious offending which culminated in the armed robbery at the Timor Street bowls club.

He said Roche was tackled by a “very brave” patron in the club and the men were both arrested the next day.

The judge said aggravating features of the offending were the planning involved, that people were put at risk and the disguises the men wore.

Judge Grant said victim impact statements shows one of the victims could no longer work in the gaming industry while another could suffer post- traumatic stress disorder for the rest of his life.

The judge said both Roche and Brown were methamphetamine users and had poor criminal records.

Roche also pleaded guilty to an aggravated burglary during which he woke up the victims in a bedroom from which he was stealing a jewellery box.

Judge Grant said the armed robbery was also a significant escalation of offending.

The pair went on a drug-fuelled burglary and theft rampage in late July, August and early September last year.

The bowls club robbery happened at 10.45pm on Wednesday, September 4 last year.

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