Lone night-workers easy prey for Rockhampton crook

LONE workers at night posed as easy targets for a former Rockhampton man with a history of committing violent crimes.

Martin Christopher Ryan, 26, pleaded guilty on Thursday  in the Brisbane District Court to two armed robberies he committed at Zillmere and Carseldine on November 8, 2012.

A highlight of his nine page criminal history outlined in court was the police chase in 2010 he was involved in south of Rockhampton where the car he was driving while intoxicated reached speeds of 190 km per hour.

However, Ryan did not seem all that fazed with the proceedings or the fact he faced a lengthy jail sentence.

Instead he spent most of the proceedings more interested in what a woman sitting in the court room who came to support him was doing.

Crown Prosecutor Brendan White told the court he armed himself with a knife and syringe when committing the two armed robberies before feeing to South Australia where he was subsequently arrested and extradited back to Queensland.

He said Ryan had a shocking criminal history which has seen him spend most of his adult life behind bars.

"He has been afforded chance after chance, but continues to offend," he said.

"Parole is certainly not helping him. It is not effective as his offending has escalated to the point where his offending is now carried out while being armed.

"His criminal history is appalling and he has been totally undeterred with anything the court has imposed on him."

Mr White said Ryan had countless offences including assaults, frauds, stealing, property and driving offences.

He said he had even been convicted of bashing a female nurse who was simply standing at a bus stop.

Defence barrister Kathryn McMahon said Ryan had experienced an abusive childhood which resulted in significant substance abuse from a young age.

She said he had received little or no help with addressing either of those issues despite showing a strong willingness to do so.

Judge Michael Nord told Ryan he was at the crossroads of his life and he would not receive any sympathy if he appeared before a Queensland court again.

He sentenced him to two years and 11 months in jail for the most serious of the armed robberies and ordered he be released after serving three months of the sentence.

He further ordered he undergo extensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation before being released and then again upon his release.

Ryan will remain on parole for the next four years.