The scene of the robbery at Southern Cross Credit Union in Tweed Heads on December 31 last year.
The scene of the robbery at Southern Cross Credit Union in Tweed Heads on December 31 last year. Tweed Daily News

Serial bank robber jailed for 10 years

A SERIAL bank robber, who threatened the staff of credit unions in Tweed and Lennox Head with a toy pistol last December, was on parole for seven armed robberies in Queensland at the time.

Kevin John Moore, 55, was yesterday sentenced in the Lismore District Court to 15 years jail, with a non-parole period of 10 years

Moore had pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery with a dangerous weapon - on the Southern Cross Credit Union in Lennox Head on December 23 and on the Southern Cross Credit Union, Tweed Heads on December 31.

Moore pleaded guilty on June 6 to stealing $8924 during the robberies, and on sentencing him Judge Black said: “It is in the community's interest that he has an extended period in which to be rehabilitated.”

Moore committed the crimes only 19 months after being released from a Queensland jail where had served 10 years for armed robbery.

The court heard he had rented a hire car to rob the credit unions, but replaced the car's number plates with stolen plates.

During sentencing, Judge Black mentioned the 'highly creditable actions' of Brisbane tourist John Whitta, 62, who - after realising Moore's pistol was a fake during the Tweed robbery - crash-tackled him to the ground and with the help of passer-bys held him until police arrived.

Moore's lawyer, Hugh van Dugteren, had requested a more lenient sentence of three years, on the grounds that Moore had been sexually assaulted by his cub master as a young teenager, was estranged from his three children, had a gambling addiction and the relationship with his spouse had broken down.

Moore told the court he had used a toy pistol and not a real gun because 'I didn't want to hurt anyone. I didn't want anything to go wrong'.

On sentencing, Judge Black said he took into account Moore's guilty plea which was 'a great relief to those affected' but he described Moore's crimes as 'very grave offences with aggravated features'.

Moore will not be eligible for parole in NSW until 2018 and on release he will be extradited to Queensland to serve the remaining four years of a 14-year sentence he was paroled for in 2007.



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