A thieving thug was released from jail the day before he went on a violent rampage, holding a knife to multiple victims and bashing a stranger with a hammer.

Matthew John Cream, 26, fronted the County Court on Friday to plead guilty to charges including armed robbery and aggravated carjacking with an offensive weapon.

Cream had been free for just hours when he worked with two associates to commit a terrifying armed robbery at Burwood’s United petrol station in the early hours of January 20, 2020.

The court heard the group approached the Burwood Hwy service station in hoods before Cream’s co-offender used a hammer to smash their way into the building.

The co-offender threatened the employee with a hammer while Cream used a kitchen knife, forcing the attendant to hand over the till.

Cream then held the attendant in another part of the store with a knife while his two co-offenders stole cigarettes from behind the counter.

The group took the employee’s car keys and fled in his Honda Accord.

Cream used the knife to steal a man’s car in Kew shortly after.

The court heard Cream’s co-offender drove the stolen Honda to outside a Kew newsagency, where a delivery man was sitting in his Toyota Camry.

Cream jumped out of the car and held the knife to the delivery man, screaming at him to get out of his car.

The terrified man complied, and Cream drove away in the car.

Cream was then clocked driving the stolen Toyota at a staggering 129km/h in Woodend about 2pm that day, and sped away from police when they tried to stop him.

About 8.40am the next morning he was driving the stolen car when he approached men working at a car wash at Westfield in Airport West.

The court heard Cream suddenly got out of the car and struck an employee twice on the arm with a hammer before he took the hammer to a customer’s car.

Cream and his co-offenders were arrested at a Reservoir house two days later.

Cream told police he had been on “a lot of ice and juice” at the time of the crimes.

Explaining the assault with the hammer, he said: “The bloke just kept staring at me and I didn’t like it. So I got out and hit him with the hammer.”

Cream’s lawyer told the court it was difficult to plead her client’s case, with him having reoffended “immediately upon release”.

Cream was released from jail on January 19, 2020 following a 10-month sentence imposed by Judge Carmody.

The court heard Cream was supposed to be released onto a Youth Justice Plan, but the lawyer said Cream had told her he had walked out of the prison with a Myki card but no phone and unclear of what he was to do, putting him in a vulnerable position.

Judge Carmody said he couldn’t understand how that had occurred.

The court heard the Box Hill man was very troubled and damaged.

It was heard he suffered cognitive impairment, with an IQ of 67, and had a serious deficiency of social networks.

The court heard he was at risk of institutionalisation, having spent most of his adult life in jail and having never worked outside of jail.

The lawyer said Cream was struggling with his mental health in custody and he was severely depressed.

Judge Carmody said Cream clearly needed a lot of help

“But when he’s out in the community he’s mayhem,” Judge Carmody said.

Cream will be sentenced later this month.

Extracted in full from: https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/matthew-cream-burwood-united-petrol-station-armed-robber-in-court/news-story/638c78e9afe4ef267a5b92b69a32fa2f