A pair of knife-wielding brothers thwarted by brave shoppers have been sentenced to more than four years in jail for armed hold-ups described by a judge as unsophisticated, high-risk and terrifying.
Joshua John Sullivan, 27, and Rhys Sullivan, 24, donned disguises and stole $1190 from McDonald's Erindale on December 27 last year.
The pair planned to rob the Calwell Woolworths the next day, but they were spotted running inside by four shoppers who followed them.
Rhys Sullivan took off empty-handed in fright and was found hiding in a nearby garage by police a short time later.
Meanwhile, three of the shoppers wrestled with Joshua Sullivan inside the supermarket to disarm him and perform a citizen's arrest as he tried to empty a cash register.
Police arrived to find $775 in Joshua Sullivan's bag and a further $385 scattered on the floor.
Both brothers recently pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and attempted aggravated robbery. Rhys Sullivan also pleaded guilty to trespassing.
In the ACT Supreme Court on Friday afternoon, Justice David Mossop said the pair had wanted to steal money with which to buy drugs.
Both brothers began using illicit substances as teenagers, and Rhys Sullivan had been clean for nine months prior to a relapse the day before the McDonald's robbery, when he split up with his partner.
Justice Mossop said victim impact statements provided to the court proved that the brothers' actions had been "terrifying" and would carry long-term psychological consequences for those who had been at the McDonald's and Woolworths outlets during the incidents.
He said the method of offending was unsophisticated and high-risk.
Joshua Sullivan had been released from jail on parole less than four weeks before committing these crimes, while Rhys Sullivan was serving a community-based jail sentence at the time.
Justice Mossop on Friday sentenced Joshua Sullivan to four years and eight months in jail for the December 2019 offences.
Rhys Sullivan received a sentence of four years and one month, as well as a $100 fine.
Because each of the pair are now completing their earlier sentences behind bars, they will not begin to serve their new jail terms until 2021.
Rhys Sullivan will become eligible for parole in February 2022, while Joshua Sullivan will not be released until at least October of that year.