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Chainsaw-wielding flower pot bandit given nine months

PAROLE: This 19-year-old man was arrested by police after holding up a Flinders View with a chainsaw and wearing a flower pot.
PAROLE: This 19-year-old man was arrested by police after holding up a Flinders View with a chainsaw and wearing a flower pot. Contributed

THE infamous chainsaw-wielding flower pot bandit will spend Christmas with his family after he was sentenced in the Ipswich District Court yesterday for his bizarre drunken rampage in a Flinders View service station in February.

Steven Frank Steele, 19, has been in jail since he was apprehended after entering the Ash St 7-eleven service station on February 10 wearing a flower pot on his head while wielding the chainsaw.

He terrorised two shop attendants, swiped at items inside and outside the store and escaped with a bottle of Coke.

Judge Deborah Richards ordered that Steele be released on parole on November 10 after nine months imprisonment.

He pleaded guilty to 10 charges - including one charge of armed robbery, one of public nuisance, two of going armed so as to cause fear, four of wilful damage, one of common assault and one of entering premises to cause an indictable offence

The judge took into account his lack of criminal history, family background and the deep remorse that he has expressed since committing the crime.

Steele will live with his family after being released. He will receive alcohol and drug counselling and his brother has offered to provide him employment so he can reintegrate into society and make a more positive contribution.

The court was shown video of Steele's antics on the night in question, which included flashing his snowy white buttocks as he exited the store.

His defence lawyer Steve Kissick spoke of some of the issues his client was dealing with in his life that included a feeling of abandonment by his father.

He said the vision showed the crime to be "without planning" and "bizarre" in the extreme.

"The disguise of the pot he put over his head belies the drunken and stupid nature of this," he said

"The (chainsaw) was activated from time to time and you can see some smoke come out of it.

"Whilst I accept there was some movement towards the people, it certainly wasn't a charging one. This is just generally highly unusual, unsophisticated, clearly unplanned and unthought-out conduct by a young man deeply … affected by alcohol."

Mr Kissick presented a letter of apology to the judge that Steele had written yesterday - apologising to the judge, his family and his victims. Judge Richards said Steele's conduct was very dangerous and "amateurish".

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