Jail for pizza driver robberies

TWO Ipswich teenagers who led a series of violent armed robberies on pizza delivery drivers and convenience stores have been sentenced to prison.

Frank Albert Le Grice, 18, and Dale Brown, 18, each pleaded guilty at Ipswich District Court to multiple counts of armed robbery in company using personal violence.

Both were responsible for a vicious attack while armed with a golf club on a convenience store at North Booval on April 23.

CCTV footage aired in court showed the teens smashing the counter of the store and assaulting the owner, who tried to defend himself with a metal bar.

Brown was responsible for at least five robberies on pizza delivery drivers.

The court heard there was a "marked graduation in the seriousness of the offending", with victims being bashed by the pair.

Brown would phone to order pizza and when drivers arrived they were assaulted, with cash and mobile phones being stolen.

The prosecution said the pair's offending didn't fall into the category of "youthful misadventure" because there was planning and effort leading up to the attacks, including fixing stolen number plates to a car used in the robberies to evade capture.

Six juveniles were also charged for their involvement in various robberies and were dealt with under the Juvenile Justices Act.

Le Grice and Brown have been in custody since their arrest on April 25.

They were both sentenced to three years prison, and with time already served they will be released after eight months.

Judge Sarah Bradley said the pair acted as "cowardly thugs" and using disguises and weapons meant there was clearly a degree of planning. "You targeted vulnerable victims and used your mates and weapons to back you up - even a 17-year-old can understand what a coward means," Judge Bradley said.

The pair was given credit for co-operation with police, and because they implicated other offenders in statements. Their families were in court to support them.

The court wasn't given an explanation as to why the teens embarked on their crime spree. "There's not a lot of explanation in your background as to why you both went off the rails so badly," Judge Bradley said.

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