DNA match catches out Subway armed robber
A man who robbed a young Subway employee at gunpoint was only caught years later after DNA from another crime he committed connected him to the robbery.
Ian Charles Victor McIlvenna, 42, pleaded guilty by videolink in the Maroochydore District Court on Monday to armed robbery.
Crown prosecutor Alex Stark told the court McIlvenna went through the Maroochydore Subway drive through on August 26, 2015, at 6.30pm and pointed a gun at a 16-year-old female Subway employee.
"She (the Subway employee) was working that night, there were no other customers in the store and no other cars in the drive through," he said.
"He drove a white Hyundai sedan with licence plates covered up through the drive through. "He drove to the cashier's window and threw a beanie at the complainant.
"He pointed a small silver handgun at her and demanded money.
"As he spoke to her, he placed a grey and black bandana over his mouth and nose."
The court heard McIlvenna said to the employee, "put all the money in the bag and I won't hurt you," to which she replied "seriously?'
"I am serious," he answered.
The court heard the employee handed him $250 which he took and then drove away.
The court heard McIlvenna had "insubstantial" criminal history before committing the armed robbery.
Mr Stark said McIlvenna wasn't charged for the robbery until July 26, 2018, when he allegedly committed another offence and his DNA was taken.
The DNA from the beanie left at the scene was a positive match for McIlvenna, as well as the hire car used in the robbery found to be registered under his name.
The court heard McIlvenna had denied committing the robbery when interviewed by police.
Mr Stark said a four to six year jail sentence would be appropriate considering the seriousness of the robbery.
"The use of a handgun and the planning and pre meditation that was shown in the use of a hire car, material covering the licence plates and some element of disguising himself with a bandana place him in the category above the lower end of the range," he said.
The court heard McIlvenna, who had spent 243 days in custody, had returned two negative drug tests since being in jail.
McIlvenna's lawyer, Simon Lewis, told the court his client had been trying to rehabilitate himself while in jail.
"He did have some substance abuse problems when he was younger, both in respect to alcohol and drugs," he said.
The court heard McIlvenna stopped using drugs in his early 20s, but started again in his 30s when he became a truck driver and needed to stay awake.
"When one looks at his history, it's clear something has gone not right because of the large cluster of low level of dishonesty offending," he said.
"Whilst it is clear that some element of planning has gone into this (the robbery), it's difficult to see that one could obtain much money from a Subway drive though.
Judge Glen Cash said while it wasn't a sophisticated robbery, there was a degree of planning involved.
"Exactly how you became in the position to commit the offence is a little unclear," he said.
"When you returned to drugs, it seemed to have led to a deterioration in your life until you were completely off the rails in 2015 and 2016 when you committed the offences.
"Hopefully the break from drugs will be enough to help you stay clean when you're released.
"What you did was extremely serious, you must have terrified this young person who was operating the drive through on that evening."
He sentenced McIlvenna to four-and-a-half years in jail.
McIlvenna will be eligible for parole on May 19, next year.
The court heard McIlvenna still had pending charges in the Gympie court.