Getaway driver hears of lasting impact on robbery victim
A MAN who played the role of getaway driver in the armed robbery of service stations where an axe was used has been sentenced.
Despite being very serious crimes targeting vulnerable businesses in the community, the Crown prosecution facts were not fully disclosed when the offender, Toby Katt, appeared in the dock of Ipswich District Court for sentence before Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren.
A police officer also suffered a serious assault by Katt, but with no facts given in the open court.
Toby Darren Katt, 26, from Moores Pocket, pleaded guilty to six charges that include committing two armed robberies in 2019; break and enter and stealing from a person, possession of tainted property; serious assault of a police officer; and possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug utensils.
The offences were committed in the Ipswich region, with the court hearing that they were “soft targets”.
Crown prosecutor Amanda Robinson said the charges before the court involved, “offences over three days on three separate occasions”.
“He was the getaway driver for another offender. Serious crimes, with an axe,” Ms Robinson said.
“Stole the till, $1600 was stolen. When found, he had possession of a stolen trailer.
“On November 28, 2019 police found him in possession of a stolen vehicle and with drug paraphernalia. Police searched his vehicle and house.”
Ms Robinson said Katt had spent 370 days in custody before sentence.
She said one victim impact statement reported that the man suffered chest pains triggered by the offence and was now taking heart medication.
Defence barrister Crystal Lovel said Katt was still young and struggled with drug addiction since the age of 18.
She sought his immediate release on parole.
“Mr Katt is a good person when not using drugs. He has four children which is significant motivation for him (to stay off drugs),” Ms Lovel said.
“He accepts the offending is incredibly serious. I have taken him through the victim impact statement and he accepts it would have been extremely traumatic for the victim.”
Judge Horneman-Wren described the offending as, “a crime spree” with terrible consequences, as detailed in the victim impact statement.
“It just explains that when you walk into a service station with an axe the attendant may have any number of medical conditions the perpetrator is unaware of,” Judge Horneman-Wren said.
“In November last year you took part in a crime spree.
“Two robberies took place. They were armed.
“In the third the till was taken. It was not a robbery as the attendant ran to safety.
“The co-offender who entered was armed with an axe which he wielded in the robberies.
“You were party to it. You remained in the vehicle, essentially as the getaway driver.
“Police came to your house and found you in possession of a stolen trailer. A Mercedes van held evidence connecting you.
“You were introduced to methylamphetamine at a young age. Therein lies your problem.
“You assaulted a police officer trying to take you into custody.”
Judge Horneman-Wren said Katt previously received a jail term for a home invasion that involved threats of violence.
“It is all very well to say you were in the grips of methylamphetamine. But the effects of your offending (on others) don’t disappear when you clean yourself up,” he said.
Katt was sentenced to three years jail, along with concurrent lesser terms.
With the time already spent in jail from November 28 last year, he received immediate parole.
The cost of ‘buying’ the facts
When the Queensland Times made application to buy the agreed facts on record in order to report the Katt matter with further detail, it was informed in an email by the Ipswich Courthouse Registry that the cost to read the facts was $1786.
For the second time in three weeks the agreed facts in cases the Queensland Times applied to read were tabled as ‘exhibits’.
As such the money to be paid to access the facts was $1786.
Usually in Queensland the cost to buy the agreed facts of record to read in District Court cases is $18.80.
Queensland under Labor government legislation is the only state to charge money for journalists to check the agreed facts on record that help ensure accuracy in reporting a criminal case.