31
Aug

Man robbed Coburg servo then handed back the cash two minutes later

A knife-wielding roof plumber robbed a Coburg service station because he wanted to be shot by police, a court has heard.

Mohmoud El-Achkar, 27, was sentenced in the County Court on Friday to time served – 154 days – after pleading guilty to armed robbery.

El-Achkar was driven to a Sydney Rd Caltex by a friend just before 6pm on December 9 last year.

El-Achkar had a bleeding lip and he was angry when entered the store armed with a knife, the court heard.

He pointed his knife at the store attendant and asked her to open the safe.

“Hurry up,” El-Achkar repeatedly said.

The victim emptied the till and handed El-Achkar $150.

He left the store then ran towards an alley.

However, El-Achkar returned two minutes later, went to the locked store door and waved the cash at the attendant.

The victim let El-Achkar in and he placed the money on the counter.

The court heard El-Achkar said “Sorry, I f**d up” or “sorry I’m just trying to fk my life up” then left.

El-Achkar rang police and confessed his crimes while his friend drove them to the city, St Kilda and back to Coburg.

He eventually handed himself into Fawkner police station about 8.30pm where he was arrested, charged and later remanded.

The court heard El-Achkar, a roof plumber by trade, had severe mental health issues at the time of the robbery.

El-Achkar’s barrister said his client’s offence was a “highly unusual example of armed robbery”.

“His thinking and judgment were severely impaired,” the barrister said.

“His motivation for committing the offence was not for financial gain but rather was to gain the attention of police and to be shot upon his arrest.”

El-Achkar, who was living in Preston at the time but now lives in Coburg, was using cocaine heavily and pumping steroids.

The former Samaritan Catholic College student returned to his plumbing job after he was granted bail in May this year.

Judge Liz Gaynor also placed El-Achkar on a 14-month community correction order.

If you or someone you know is struggling mentally and at risk of suicide call Lifeline on 13 11 14, headspace on 1800 650 890 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800

Extracted from Herald Sun