ACT News


Bipolar thief should expect jail: Judge

A bipolar drug addict who tried to rob a northside restaurant with a syringe has been told to expect jail time by a Canberra judge.

Benjamin Roy Flowers has pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated robbery in the ACT Supreme Court.

Flowers, 38, was already on a deferred sentence for stabbing two people when, in October last year, he entered Delissio Brasserie in Braddon.

The court heard Flowers produced the syringe, which appeared to contain blood, and threatened a female staff member.

He then went to the register and attempted to open it but fled when confronted by staff members.

Staff gave chase on foot and saw the defendant go into nearby bushes where he changed clothing.


Flowers then leapt on a skateboard and went south along Northbourne Avenue. He fell off the skateboard attempting to cross a road soon after and was arrested by police.

The syringe was thrown away during the foot pursuit and never recovered.

Nothing was taken during the robbery.

Flowers avoided jail after pleading guilty last year to one charge of assault and one of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm.

In March 2010, he stabbed two men with a Swiss Army knife, nearly killing one, in an early morning brawl after a night of drinking.

Chief Justice Terence Higgins deferred making sentence for that incident on October 5 last year, so the defendant could seek help for mental health and drug problems.

But Flowers robbed the Braddon restaurant less than four weeks later.

He told the sentencing hearing on Thursday that he could not remember the robbery as he had been ill, using heroin and drinking alcohol before the attack.

''My mind boggles at what I've done,'' he said.

Flowers, who has been in custody since the botched robbery, told the court he had stopped using drugs while behind bars.

But the judge said a prison sentence was inevitable.

He ordered a psychiatric report be prepared in time for Flowers' court appearance next month.