ARMED with a plastic sharpened toothbrush, an 18-year-old man robbed a Maryborough corner store in a bid to repay a drug debt.
Nathanael William Pooler threatened two employees working at Foodworks on Churchill St with the home-made tool, before taking off with cash.
Police found him moments later as he was walking away from the crime scene about 7am on Sunday.
Following a night in custody, the teenager appeared in Maryborough Magistrates Court today (August 14) charged with armed robbery.
Pooler's defence lawyer Travis George said Pooler suffered from a drug problem which led him to commit the reckless crime.
"Mr Pooler has been struggling with the use of drugs, and has run a debt with a person he had supplying him the drugs," Mr George said.
"He made the extreme and poor decision (to rob a store) as he felt he had no option."
Acting registrar Kel Savage said it was by "saving grace" that Pooler had no criminal history, as otherwise he would have to remain in custody for at least the next month.
"It's a very serious charge and when a weapon is used, bail is usually refused," Mr Savage said.
Pooler's bail was granted under strict conditions including having to be at his Maryborough home 7pm-7am daily, not using illicit drugs, and registering for a drug and alcohol service to help with his addiction.
Outside court, Detective Senior Sergeant David Briese said the toothbrush in this offence was treated to the same level of severity as an actual knife would have.
"It was a bladed weapon and when shown to people working at Foodworks, it would have created some amount of fear," Sgt Briese said.
"The owner was there as well as a junior serving person; both were quiet shaken up by that.
"The fact is that if this person, or any person that enters a business and demands money, uses any sort of weapon that strikes fear into the person working there, they'll be charged with armed robbery."
Pooler will reappear in court on September 25.
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