Stills from CCTV during the armed robbery.
Stills from CCTV during the armed robbery. CCTV

After armed robbery, deportation 'inevitable'

DRUG abuse has typified the lives of a man and woman jailed for an armed robbery that left staff terrified.

Carlos Clinton Booth and Leniece Leigh Combarngo were sentenced in Brisbane District Court on Friday for the Toowoomba robbery.

Three men entered Gowrie Junction convenience store in August 2015, armed with a sawn-off shotgun and replica pistol.

Two leapt over the counter just as the store was about to close one night and took $2791 cash and $212 worth of cigarettes.

Up to seven Corrective Services staff were in court as Booth and Combarngo sat in the dock on Friday.

"You are clearly a menace to society," Judge Jones told Booth, 29.

The court heard Booth was sentenced to 2 years 6 months jail in 2008 for robbery in company with personal violence.

Combarngo, 34 also had a criminal history but "nothing similar" to the armed robbery, Judge Richard Jones said.

The Gowrie Junction robbery "involved threatening words, although not threatening in the sense of specific threats to kill or to wound," Judge Jones said.

The robbery was planned, with some sophisticated aspects, but also had "shambolic" or almost "comedic" elements.

The crime happened rapidly but the offenders could not be bothered disposing of several items of clothing, Judge Jones added.

A teenage employee was one of two staff the heavily disguised robbers confronted.

Judge Jones said the young man now suffered from depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

"The changes in his personality have resulted in the break-up of a relationship."

Booth abused meth, or ice, and Combarngo was a long-time heroin abuser.

Booth's older brother and father had both died of cancer, which the judge said might partly explain Booth's drug abuse.

Booth was jailed for six years but will be eligible for parole after three years.

On release Booth would "inevitably" be deported to New Zealand, the judge said.

"That is clearly an unfortunate circumstance, but one of your own making."

Booth's moved from New Zealand when he was six months old.

In March, a jury found Booth, Combarngo, and 20-year-old Jake Aaron Hearn guilty of armed robbery in company, but a juvenile teenage boy not guilty.

Judge Jones said Combarngo was well aware the armed robbery was planned, and with Booth took steps to get a hacksaw used to cut the rifle and make it easier to hide.

After that it was "much more murky" what her involvement was.

She was jailed for three years and will be eligible for parole on November 25, 2018.

Hearn was also to be sentenced on Friday but will be sentenced at a later date.      


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