A MAN walked into a Townsville service station, held a metal rod up at an attendant and told him “this is a robbery, give me your money”.

On April 27 this year, Frank Alexander Mullens walked into a Railway Estate Caltex carrying a large metal rod and demanded an attendant hand over money.

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of attempted armed robbery when he faced Townsville District Court.

Crown prosecutor Carly Hoyer said Mullens told the customer service worker behind the counter to hand over the money, the man pulled out a screwdriver, pointed it towards Mullens and told him to get out.

Mullens stood there for a few seconds before leaving the store as instructed and did not harm the attendant.

Ms Hoyer said the offence was “unsophisticated” and being met with resistance probably took him by surprise.

Mullens surrendered himself to police when they found him around the Railway Ave and Boundary St intersection.

Ms Hoyer said in his admissions to police, Mullens admitted he tried to commit the crime to be sent back to prison, as that was “the only way he knew”.

The court heard the man had spent most of his adult life in prison, and had a long criminal history.

Defence Barrister Scott Geeves described his client’s offending as “hapless and hopeless”, with no harm being done to any individual or violence used.

Mr Geeves told the court Mullens had not brought a weapon to the Caltex with him, but had found the rod outside the station.

“If he continues on this path, he’s going to lose the best years of his life,” Mr Geeves said.

Judge John Coker said it was sad that Mullens had become “institutionalised” and wanted to get back to prison by continuing to commit crime.

“Tragically you indicated that you tried to rob to get back to prison, and that was the only way you knew,” he said.

Mullens was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment, with a parole eligibility date set for June 26, 2020.

Extracted from The Chronicle