Police investigate a robbery at the Berserker newsagency
Police investigate a robbery at the Berserker newsagency

Asian takeaway robbed with weapon over ‘cheeky’ looks

A YOUNG armed robber told police he robbed an Asian takeaway shop because the shop attendant looked at him in “cheeky ways”.

William Noel Armstrong, 19, pleaded guilty today in Rockhampton District Court to two counts of burglary with stealing and two of armed robbery.


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Crown prosecutor Elise Sargent said Armstrong’s first victim was a Denham St resident who woke to hear Armstrong had unlocked her back door at 1.30am on Christmas Eve in 2019 and entered the lounge room where he found her phone and bank cards.

Ms Sargent said the victim screamed at Armstrong and he fled.

She said his next victim – an employee at Inn Ur Wok – was faced by Armstrong with a screwdriver, screaming he needed the money.

Armstrong took off with $326 from Inn Ur Wok on George St.

Less than 24 hours, about 7am, Armstrong robbed Barbara Swadling at Berserker News on Berserker St.

He was again armed with the screwdriver.

Barbara Swadling from the Berserker Newsagency
Barbara Swadling from the Berserker Newsagency

Armstrong screamed at Ms Swadling “this is a robbery. Give me all the money”.

As he left with $1500 cash, he said: “don’t call the police or I will come back and get you”.

Armstrong then entered a residence on Randwick St and took a television, which he stashed behind the residence in a shed.

The occupier called police when they arrived home to find the television missing.

When Armstrong was arrested, he told police where he stashed the television and the occupier found it in that location.

He had blown the $1500 from the newsagent on methamphetamines and pokies.

Armstrong told police he robbed Inn Ur Wok because the staff member had looked at him in “cheeky ways” which pissed him off, and had asked a friend about businesses easy to rob just before he robbed the newsagent.

Armstrong was high on meth at the time of all offences.

Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said Armstrong had struggled after his brother died from cancer at age 15 in 2017.

He said Armstrong was very close to his brother and remained close to his three other siblings and parents.

William Noel Armstrong, 19, said he robbed Inn Ur Wok with a screwdriver because a staff member looked at in
William Noel Armstrong, 19, said he robbed Inn Ur Wok with a screwdriver because a staff member looked at in "creepy ways".

Mr Ahlstrand said Armstrong had been using marijuana since 13 and meth since he was 15, progressing from smoking to injecting.

Mr Ahlstrand said the father of a one-year-old had offered to pay his victims back when he was being interviewed by police, inquiring how to organise his Centrelink payments go towards paying them back.

He said this showed Armstrong was remorseful, had insight into his offending and had good prospects of rehabilitation.

Mr Ahlstrand said Armstrong planned to return to Moura to live with his parents once released from prison.

Armstrong was remanded in custody on January 8.

He had spent 316 days in presentence custody which was declared as time served when Judge Jeff Clarke sentenced Armstrong to a head sentence three years prison with immediate parole.

He said Armstrong went through a horrible event when he lost his brother at a young age, but “not to be rude about it, but death is a part of life” and everyone had to deal with the death of loved ones.

Judge Clarke said it was not an excuse to go off and do illicit drugs and commit crimes.