Judge gives armed robber chance at redemption

A RECOVERING ice addict has been given a chance at redemption, dodging jail time despite robbing a man with an iron bar in daylight, in a Proserpine street.

Mathew James Fry, 26, appeared in Mackay District Court today for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to armed robbery in company.

Fry, who was living at Proserpine at the time of the 2015 robbery, was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment but was immediately paroled.

An accomplice and Fry bailed up their 33-year-old victim on Main St on the morning of Sunday, March 29, held a 60cm iron bar to his leg and forced him to empty his wallet, taking just $10.

Judge Deborah Richards told the court Fry's victim, who was known to him, was not physically harmed in the robbery and she believed the tyre fitter had made appropriate steps to become a responsible member of the community.

RELATED: Ice addict used iron bar to rob man over $10

While she described the armed robbery as "very serious offending", Judge Richards said references tendered to the court showed there were "people who obviously think very highly of you (Fry)".

"You do have a criminal history, but it's not particularly serious.

"It shows you obviously have some problems with drugs," she said.

"You're now in a relationship which has given you some stability."

Judge Richards told the court she had also taken into account a personal decision made by Fry and his partner due to the prospect he would end up behind bars.

"I must say, I have been impressed by the fact you made a very tough decision, together with your partner, due to the possibility of jail," she said. 

"A term of imprisonment for time actually served is the usual sentence in a case like this; however, it seems to me that you've actually turned a corner in your life ... and you should be given the opportunity to continue with that rehabilitation.

"If you don't, that's your decision... you deserve the opportunity to have a go."

A conviction was recorded.

At a previous, related sentencing hearing the court was told Fry was attending Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Service treatment and had gained employment at a Proserpine tyre shop.

The court also was told Fry had been dealing with "emotional matters" after two close friends and a cousin had taken their own lives in the months before the armed robbery.

Judge Richards told the court Fry's co-accused had been sentenced in April to four years and three months imprisonment in relation to the robbery and a trafficking matter.

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