TYRIN Michael Gay, 18, was the last of three armed robbers to enter the nearly empty Williamtown McDonald’s late on the night of January, 25, 2017.
A hood over his head and a balaclava covering his face, Gay clutched a single-barrel shotgun and glanced quickly around the restaurant as if he was clearing the room.
Ahead of him was Nathan Colby, 22, who was armed with a baseball bat, and Luke William John Swain, 30, who had a machete.
The three men threatened staff, demanded they empty the registers and hand over their personal property and Colby smashed a staff member’s hand with the bat.
They made off with $3042, heading straight to a licensed premises at Mayfield where they poured the proceeds straight into poker machines.
But during the robbery, which left staff members “traumatised”, Gay’s balaclava slipped down, revealing his face. All three armed robbers were from nearby Raymond Terrace and two of the people in the restaurant immediately recognised Gay.
He was arrested on April 4 last year, while Colby and Swain were picked up by police in raids at Raymond Terrace a few days later.
Gay, who was serving an intensive corrections order and on a good behaviour bond at the time of the hold-up, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and possession of an unauthorised firearm and on Friday in Newcastle District Court was jailed for a maximum of four years and six months, with a non-parole period of two years and nine months.
He will be eligible for parole in March, 2020.
Colby, who had a limited criminal record, but a history of drug abuse and problematic gambling, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was jailed for a maximum of three years and nine months, with a non-parole period of two years and three months.
He will be eligible for release next year.
Swain will remain behind bars until he is sentenced in August.
As well as the McDonald’s hold-up he has pleaded guilty to using a 12-gauge shotgun to hold up the Hunter River Hotel on December 5, 2016.
On that occasion the robbers stole more than $3,700.