Armed robber impresses judge by turning his life around

A TEENAGE Ipswich armed robber's decision to turn his life around paid dividends on Friday when he walked free from court.

Brisbane District Court Judge Nicholas Samios told Shane Charles Stewart if he had not found stable housing, joined drug and alcohol programs and started volunteer work he would have been jailed for the armed robbery of a Caltex service station early this year.

The court heard a staff member at the Windsor service station feared for his life when Stewart, wearing a cap and with a bandana on his face, indicated he was carrying a hidden gun before ordering him to hand over cash and tobacco about 3am on May 8.

Stewart pleaded guilty to seven charges including robbery, drug and weapons offences.

He was sentenced to three years in prison but received immediate parole because of time served.

Convictions were not recorded.

In giving the 17-year-old Year 11 student his freedom, Judge Samios urged Stewart to stay away from people who could lead him into more trouble.

"Since being released on bail (in September), you have made positive changes," Judge Samios said.

"Thankfully the (Brisbane) Youth Advocacy Centre has steered you in the right direction and you have been willing to go in the right direction.

"There are many people in the community who would say 'just lock them up' but because you have done something positive to rehabilitate yourself, I think the 134 days you were in prison is sufficient (jail time)."

- APN NEWSDESK



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