IT WAS a usual day at the Tolland Newsagency until Joshua Clifton Chalmers walked through the door.
Just before 12.30pm on March 24, the 22-year-old Wagga man stepped through the front door of the newsagency carrying a plastic bag and a 15cm knife, which he held in front of him.
“I don’t want to hurt anyone, fill this bag,” Chalmers said to newsagency co-owner Elizabeth Byrne before putting the bag on the counter.
Just then, Mrs Byrne’s son, Peter, emerged from the back of the shop where he had been working and joined his mother behind the front counter.
“What’s going on here?” Mr Byrne asked.
“He wants money, but he doesn’t want to hurt anyone,” Mrs Byrne replied.
“Come on outside mate, we’re not giving you any money,” Mr Byrne told Chalmers.
“I am desperate, I need the money,” Chalmers said.
“You’re not getting any money, get out,” Mr Byrnes said, standing about two metres from Chalmers.
After a few tense minutes and as Mrs Byrne telephoned police, Chalmers fled the store empty-handed.
Chalmers was then followed by a woman in a car who spoke with Mr Byrne after seeing Chalmers running from the store with Mr Byrne close behind.
The woman saw Chalmers get into a car as a passenger near Nordlingen Drive, took details of the vehicle’s registration and gave them to police by phone when she returned to the newsagency.
Police went to a Mount Austin house where the owner of the car lived and found Chalmers hiding under a bed. A knife was also found under the bed.
Chalmers later pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob while armed with an offensive weapon.
In Wagga District Court he was given a head sentence of four years and a non-parole period of two years, backdated to March 24, when Chalmers went into custody. He will be eligible for parole on March 23, 2017.
The newsagency is now closed.
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