A 23-year-old who stole cigarettes and cash from a Lismore BP has been given a second chance after he was tormented in jail while on remand.

A 23-year-old who robbed a BP armed with a kitchen knife has avoided becoming “another statistic” in Lismore District Court.

Nigel Willacy previously pleaded guilty to robbery armed with an offensive weapon.

Judge Jeffery McLennan read the facts detailing how on the night of April 5, 2021 when Willacy entered the BP on Dawson St, dressed in a North face jacket, a scarf on his head and a baseball cap.

He said Willacy approached the one man working in the store and said “this is a hold up” before removing a large kitchen knife from his bag and demanded cash and cigarettes.

He took 26 boxes of cigarettes and about $540 in cash before fleeing on foot when the store attended called the police.

Willacy removed his jacket and a pair of vans shoes at a nearby school before hiding at the Wilson River bank until police left the area and he went home.

On July 7 Willacy attended the police station and confessed – expressing serious concern for the store attendant and stating he hoped he hadn’t given him PTSD.

Willacy told police he had been under the influence of alcohol and valium at the time and had intended to sell the cigarettes on the black market.

Judge McLennan noted Willacy had a complicated psychological profile with considerable childhood trauma and a number of intellectual disabilities.

He also put consideration into the 71 days Willacy spent in custody where he was teased, taunted and abused due to his disabilities and being indigenous.

Judge McLennan mentioned people in positions of authority within the prison system who would speak sarcastically to Willacy putting on Texan accents.

He said because of Willacy’s young age, history of employment and strong support unit he had good prospects of rehabilitation.

“I don’t want to see you back here while I’m here,” Judge McLennan told Willacy.

“A lot of people are doing their very best to keep you out of jail – to keep you out to the system.

“People don’t want you to be one more statistic.”

Willacy was convicted and sentenced to a two year intensive corrections order with conditions not to drink or use illicit drugs.

Extracted in full from: Nigel Willacy sentenced for armed robbery of Lismore BP | Daily Telegraph