Financial stress turns Bundy mother into armed robber
AS LISA Monk stood holding a knife in the carpark of Fisherman's Inn in March, her intent was clear.
She had been planning how she would rob the small fish and chip shop for weeks.
For an hour she stood and "psyched herself up", while holding a "robber's pack" made up of a pillow case filled with ziplock ties, masking tape and a 'closed' shop sign.
Her hands were gloved and she'd tried to conceal her identity by wearing a hoodie and bandana.
She knew the shop had no security cameras and she knew her targets were elderly and may be easy enough to tie up with the ziplocks and tape.
But even the most "premeditated" plans can go pear-shaped as Monk quickly discovered, after she was hit by a female shop owner and restrained by a male shop owner, who she threatened with a knife.
On Thursday Monk appeared in Bundaberg District Court and pleaded guilty to the crime.
Defence barrister Russell Clutterbuck told the court of the former occupational therapist's lack of criminal history, her failing marriage and of the physical, mental health and monetary woes which led to things getting "out of hand".
"She has previously been involved with the church and youth ... the offence is out of character for this lady ... a very unusual case," Mr Clutterbuck said.
But Judge Leanne Clare said financial worries combined with a mental illness diagnosis did not excuse the mother of two's actions, no matter how "unrecognisable" it was to her friends and family.
"There was no evidence of psychosis, elevated mood or cognitive impairment," Judge Clare said.
"(This can be) as simple and unpalatable as a middle-aged woman reacting badly to stress and deciding to do something stupid and serious.
"People in the community face terrible financial stress, worse than yourself, and are vulnerable to stress ... but very few commit such serious offences."
Monk was sentenced to 2.5 years' prison, suspended after four months.