By Ewen McRae
A man who robbed a mother and her child at knifepoint last year has been sentenced to more than two years behind bars.
Todd Carter plead guilty in the County Court to armed robbery and theft following two incidents in the Woodgrove Shopping Centre carpark last year which left his victims distraught.
The court heard that on October 30, 2019, Carter approached a woman in her car while she was putting on her four-year-old daughter’s seatbelt. Carter sat in the passenger seat beside her and pulled out a fold-out knife.
Carter then told the woman that he needed $800, and if she didn’t have it on her they would have to go and get it.
The woman offered Carter the car, saying she just wanted to take her daughter out first. When Carter said he would not take the car the woman gave him her wallet and phone.
The court heard that three days later Carter stole another mobile phone from a woman, after asking her to borrow it to make a call.
A shopping centre security guard and a member of the public chased Carter to his car and were able to take photos of his number plate. Police arrested him three days later.
Carter later admitted he stole the phones and wallet to try and pay off a drug debt.
A victim impact statement from the first woman said that she now suffers from anxiety and is afraid to take her daughter with her to the shops. Her daughter also struggles to sleep.
Judge Trevor Wraight said the impact on Carter’s victims would be ongoing, and a strong message of deterrence had to be sent in the sentence.
“In my view this a serious example of this type of armed robbery,” Judge Wraight said.
“That is, an armed robbery on a soft target, in this instance a woman with her daughter, simply going about her daily business in a public space.
“There can be no doubt that this would have been a terrifying experience for both the victim and her daughter.”
Carter was sentenced to two years and six months prison.