A WOULD-BE robber with a syringe was scared off when a petrol station attendant pulled out a kitchen knife to defend herself.

Makaira Shane Piripi, 28, ran into the United Petroleum store on Ingham Rd at 3.20pm September 9 with a white shirt wrapped around his head.

He pulled a syringe from his shorts and told the attendant “Give me your money or I’ll stab you with this”.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Walklate said the woman grabbed a kitchen knife from beside the counter and said “What?”

She opened the glass sliding door behind her and started to leave.

“She seemed to have spooked Mr Piripi, he then left through the same door,” Mr Walklate said.

The attempted robbery was caught on camera and lasted 13 seconds.

Piripi crossed the road and swapped clothes with his friend Steven John Lancaster, 39, who had been waiting for him.

Piripi and Lancaster pleaded guilty in Townsville District Court this morning to attempted armed robbery.

Lancaster also pleaded guilty to four counts of entering premises and unlicensed driving.

Mr Walklate said Piripi was arrested on September 12 but Lancaster was not caught until later, and went on to commit a spree of offences.

On October 17 he broke into the Ingham Picture Theatre and stole a laptop worth just under $1500. He returned two days later and stole $5000 worth of equipment.

Also on October 19, Lancaster stole two wallets from Target Country in Ingham and a trolley full of groceries from Coles.

A Coles attendant followed him to the carpark and asked for a receipt, but he replied “f— off” and drove off without a licence.

Defence barrister Harvey Walters said on the day of the attempted robbery, Piripi and Lancaster had been drinking for hours at Flinders St pubs.

“They were walking from the Sovereign Hotel to the Centenary Hotel, which is in Pimlico, when my client, in his intoxicated state, committed the offence,” he said.

Mr Walters said Piripi was an ice addict and had wanted money so he could continue drinking.

He said Piripi had a “traumatic” time in jail and was violently assaulted in January, suffering a broken jaw and fractured eye socket.

Defence barrister Scott Geeves said on release, Lancaster would seek assistance for his methylamphetamine use.

Judge Douglas McGill said there was some sophistication to the attempt and it was “fortuitous” the attendant had a knife on hand.

Piripi was sentenced to three years in jail and Lancaster was sentenced to two years.

Piripi had already served 269 days in custody and Lancaster had served 231 days. Both were released immediately on parole.

Extracted from Cairns Post