Esperance man, Mason Jon Bannister, jailed for 3-and-a-half years for armed robbery

A 21-year-old Esperance man has been jailed for three years and six months for robbing a supermarket owner to fuel his meth addiction.

Mason Jon Bannister had pleaded guilty and was sentenced by District Court Judge John Staude for armed robbery on June 11, 2019.

State prosecutor Lindsay Rosenthal said between 8pm and 8:30pm on June 12, 2018, Bannister robbed an owner of Koondoola Plaza supermarket in the northern suburbs of Perth.

The offender stood near the entry to the supermarket and watched the victim lock up before finishing for the night.

The victim walked to his car carrying a basket with $3,379.60 in cash.

Bannister approached him from behind and threatened him with a fake handgun, demanding he hand over the money.

The offender was wearing a full-face white plastic mask, gloves and a hooded jacket, which covered his head.

The victim thought the gun was real and fled, tripped over and dropped the basket containing the cash.

Bannister picked up the basket and fled the area on foot, shortly afterwards dumping it in the bush.

Regional Investigations Unit detectives arrived at the scene and, with the assistance of police forensic officers, found the items used by Bannister to rob the victim, and the basket and cash.

The gloves and mask were forensically examined, identifying the offender.

On October 31, 2018 Bannister was arrested by detectives in Esperance, and confessed to the crime, including the use of the fake gun, gloves and mask.

He has been in custody since his arrest.

Bannister's lawyer George Christou said Bannister's upbringing was dysfunctional.

Mr Christou said at the age of six, Bannister had started doing the household shopping because his mother was too drunk.

He asked for the sentence to be suspended due to Bannister's early plea of guilty, remorse, youth, time already spent in jail and his willingness to address his addiction.

The prosecution said the crime was a "serious offence" and there was a need for general deterrence to protect local businesses closing at night.

Mr Rosenthal said Bannister pointing the fake gun at the man's head in disguise "would have been an extremely menacing and frightening situation for the victim".

The prosecution said Bannister's record was not of a "young man who has lost his way".

Mr Rosenthal pointed out the offender had been sent to jail over other incidents in the past.

Judge Staude said the maximum penalty for armed robbery was life imprisonment.

The judge said Bannister had a significant record and that the armed robbery was the most serious he had committed.

"It is of concern that previous sentences, including of imprisonment, have not deterred you from offending in such a serious way," Judge Staude said.

The judge said Bannister was using meth at the time of the robbery and had admitted to committing the offence to get money to pay for drugs.

Judge Stuade took into account Bannister's circumstances, early guilty plea and remorse.

However, he said the seriousness of the crime and the need to deter both him and others and to protect the community meant jail was the only appropriate penalty.

Bannister's sentence was backdated to October 31, 2018. He will be eligible for parole after serving half his sentence or 21 months in jail.