Two men will serve five years after they stole $300 during the robbery of a Bendigo Bank in September, 2015.
Two men will serve five years after they stole $300 during the robbery of a Bendigo Bank in September, 2015. Google Maps

'Stupid' bank robber mates fall out over $300 heist

TWO "stupid" career criminals will spend five years in jail for terrorising two bank tellers with a gun during an "unsophisticated" robbery that netted them just $300.

The one-time mates teamed up to rob the Holland Park Bendigo Bank in September of 2015, but Cameron John Stewart and Nicholas Ashley Minarsky had to be sentenced individually on Friday because of threats of violence.

Lawyers, court and corrections staff feared the pair would fight each other if they were placed in the dock together.

Brisbane District Court Judge Michael Shanahan took the unusual step of separating the men, but they received the same length of time in jail on one charge each of robbery with violence.

Crown prosecutor Chontelle Farnsworth said while the robbery was "unsophisticated" it was a "terrifying" experience for the bank employees who were forced to lie on the floor and told they would be shot in the head if they tried to stop the attack.

Ms Farnsworth said both men wore disguises but Laidley resident Stewart was the person wielding a gun.

The pair fled the crime scene in a car carrying stolen number plates and they were nabbed a few days later when police saw the wanted vehicle at a set of traffic lights.

The crime was captured on CCTV and even though there was significant evidence against him, Stewart opted to face a jury.

Minarsky pleaded guilty and gave evidence at Stewart's trial.

The jury convicted the 37-year-old who has a lengthy criminal history.

His first crime was at 14 and he has spent much of the past 23 years in and out of jail.

"Stewart had no remorse and has an appalling and serious criminal history that demonstrates his disregard for the law," Ms Farnsworth said.

The court heard 29-year-old Minarsky had a rough life that saw him surrounded by crime while spending his childhood in South Australia, Gladstone and other areas of Australia.

Judge Shanahan said the pair's "stupid" plan to rob the bank was in keeping with both of their criminal histories.

He noted the men had a habit of re-offending when they were released from jail and he said the public needed to be protected from them.

"Your previous parole performance is abysmal," Judge Shanahan told Minarsky as he sentenced him to five years without parole.

Sentencing Stewart to eight years with parole after five years, Judge Shanahan said "the simple fact of the matter is when you are released from jail you commit further offences".

- NewsRegional



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