Serial bandit jailed for trying to rob Maccas

A TEENAGER who brandished a broken bottle in a bungled attempt to rob McDonald's has been jailed for his third armed robbery offence in 18 months.

Lochlan Jason Lenard McKeiver waved the broken bottle and demanded cash from staff at the Warwick store on May 11.

At the time, the 19-year-old was on parole for the armed robbery of a Toowoomba service station, which he committed while on bail for the attempted armed robbery of a Toowoomba IGA store.

In March last year, McKeiver took a knife from the shelves of the IGA store and waved it at a cashier while demanding cash.

Although the cashier obliged, the former Warwick teenager didn't make it far before a female acquaintance attempted to stop him and threw him to the ground.

McKeiver was arrested and, after some weeks in custody, was released on bail.

But it wasn't long before he was at it again.

On July 2, while still on bail, McKeiver and a friend attempted to rob the Toowoomba Shell Service Station with a knife.

Although McKeiver did not hold the knife during this incident, he demanded the cash and held open the door as the pair fled.

Last August McKeiver was sentenced to three years jail for both offences, but was released on parole last December. Five months later he targeted the Warwick store.

The Toowoomba District Court yesterday heard McKeiver arrived at the McDonald's store after a night of drinking with friends.

Despite branding McKeiver as a "menace to the community", Judge David Searles conceded that a security screen separating the teen robber and his victims meant they "were never at risk of being attacked unless they approached (McKeiver)".

Mitigating factors included McKeiver's timely guilty plea as well as his battle with psychiatric conditions since a young age.

Judge Searle said there was a reluctance to send young people to jail.

"But the status of youth doesn't give an automatic exemption from custody in appropriate circumstances," the judge said, sentencing McKeiver to 12 months jail. He will be eligible for parole in May next year.

- Additional reporting by The Chronicle



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