Anthea Cannon, 1 October 2015

AN armed robber called 000 to dob himself in and confessed to police that it wasn’t a theft because he’d been carrying a knife.

Judge Gerard Mullaly said Daniel Kraljevic’s “foolish” armed robbery had netted him just $10 after he handed over $30 for cigarettes then grabbed $40 from the open cash register.

The County Court in Geelong heard Kraljevic, 26, dropped his legally purchased cigarettes while fleeing the Lara Shell service station at 2am on January 4 and used the proceeds of the crime to buy more cigarettes and a sausage roll from the APCO minutes later.

In sentencing Kraljevic to a 2½ year Community Corrections Order, Judge Mullaly said many lawyers tried to argue their client’s offending had been a “cry for help” but he believed it was genuinely the case for Kraljevic.

The court heard Kraljevic called 000, described what he was wearing and waiting for police to arrest him before telling them to check the CCTV after they tried to arrest him for theft instead of armed robbery.

He told police he wanted to get away from Geelong and the drug scene.

Judge Mullaly said Kraljevic then “dedicated” himself to rehabilitation, getting clean from drugs, seeing a psychologist, moving back in with his parents and getting work as a plasterer.

Megan Casey, for Kraljevic, said it was hard to see the knife — a 10cm by 2.5cm blade — on the CCTV and the service station cashier had not seen Kraljevic place it on the counter.

Ms Casey said Kraljevic had played ice hockey for Australia before turning to drugs and alcohol at 18 years old.

Judge Mullaly said it was unusual for an armed robber to escape jail, but the case and the offender were also both usual.

He said the cashier, who fought off and yelled at Kraljevic while activating the alarm, was shocked by the incident but had returned to work.

Kraljevic also pleaded guilty to driving disqualified and failing to undergo a breath test and was fined $750 and had his licence disqualified for 4 years.

“I want you to look at the steering wheel and think you’re looking at prison bars,” Judge Mullaly said, warning Kraljevic that mercy would not be repeated if he breached the CCO.

Kraljevic must complete 250 hours of community work and drug, alcohol and mental health treatment as part of the order.

Extracted in full from the Geelong Advertiser.