14 February 2024

Knife-wielding robber demanded, 'Where's my money?' during daylight attack

| Albert McKnight

Blake Samuel Gordon has been handed a jail sentence over a robbery in Hawker in 2022. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A pocketknife-wielding robber has been jailed after he demanded cash from a man in a daylight robbery.

Blake Samuel Gordon, 21, pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated robbery before he was sentenced by the ACT Supreme Court on Friday (9 February).

The victim met up with a mutual acquaintance at a block of apartments in Hawker at around 10 am on 26 May 2022 and was speaking to the man when he saw Gordon walk towards him.

He grabbed him around the throat and said something like, “Where’s my money?”

When the victim said he had no money, Gordon pulled out a Swiss Army pocketknife and held it towards him. The pair got into a struggle, during which Gordon grabbed the victim and continued to demand money.

He let go and ran away when his victim gave him $250 cash.

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Several bystanders called police, who spotted Gordon on the same street about an hour later and found him with $540.

He initially denied being involved in the robbery, saying he was at a friend’s home the entire morning and had withdrawn the cash from a Commonwealth Bank ATM in Belconnen.

“Enquiries with the Commonwealth Bank did not support this statement,” Justice Verity McWilliam said.

She said the robbery was “ill-planned”, and the knife was used “to instil fear in the victim”.

“There was both a threat of violence and actual violence that occurred,” she said.

“The offender confirmed that drugs were the cause of the offence in question and that he was remorseful and regretful.”

Gordon had reportedly faced struggles in his childhood. He first met his father when he was 14 and was forced to try methamphetamine while couch surfing as a teenager.

Justice McWilliam said he most recently worked in a warehouse, but his substance use had seriously impacted his ability to work. He worked as a sweeper while on remand in the Alexander Maconochie Centre for about seven months.

“The offender has limited connections to pro-social activities, advising that he spent most of the time before entering custody searching for appropriate accommodation for him and his partner,” she said.

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She said Gordon has had an underlying drug and possibly alcohol abuse problem since he was very young.

“The prime focus, in my view, is how to support this offender to treat his drug problem,” she said.

Gordon was sentenced to a total of one year, nine months and 18 days’ jail, with a non-parole period of 11 months. As the sentence was backdated to account for time served, he can be released from custody in June 2024.

Justice McWilliam recommended that he undertake a targeted drug intervention program while in prison or be discharged into a residential rehabilitation program that is more substantial than the three-month program he has already completed.

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