Criminals' 'hopeless' plan foiled by woman with broom

A CAR jack disguised as a gun was the weapon of choice for five men who demanded cash from a shop attendant and left - but not before snatching a fist full of chocolates for the road.

Jacob Alexander Connolly, 20, and Keegan Desmond James Maguire, 18, targeted two Inala petrol stations and a Bundamba pizza shop with three other people on October 24 last year.

They were sentenced in Ipswich District Court yesterday morning after pleading guilty to a host of charges including attempted robbery while pretending to be armed.

In sentencing two of the five men involved, the other three of which had already faced court, Judge Greg Koppenol described their plan as "hopeless" and "pathetic".

Crown prosecutor Michael Spencer told the court the group of five made off with less than $800.

"The motivation was purely self-indulgence, they spent the money on alcohol and gentlemen's activities in Connolly's case," he said.

Judge Koppenol told Connolly "it would have been a better night if he spent it with his girlfriend and Xbox".

The court heard four of the men formulated a plan to get easy money by robbing soft targets, collected Maguire and headed to Inala in a hire car.

The men then wrapped a car jack in a t-shirt, designed to look like a gun.

"All (the victim) could see was the hollow metal end," Mr Spencer said.

The men snatched just under $800 from the second petrol station and Connolly stole chocolate bars on the way out, he said.

The court heard the men then drove to a Bundamba pizza shop where Maguire concealed his face behind a Halloween mask.

A 22-year-old female employee threatened the men with a broom and they ran off.

Mr Spencer said the group dropped Maguire home and went to a gentlemen's club in Brisbane.

Maguire's defence lawyer Scott Neaves said his client served a month in custody for the offences and he was "terrified" of prison.

Connolly and Maguire were both sentenced to a head sentence of three years imprisonment with immediate parole.

They had 230 and 34 days pre-sentence custody declared respectively.

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