A former Sydney floor trader who robbed banks after getting “boozed at lunch time” more than four decades ago will spend at least one year and nine months behind bars.
The now 71-year-old Ross Oliver McCarty admitted leading a double life when he carried out a string of hold-ups in 1977 and 1978, reports The Associated Press.
He pleaded guilty in the NSW district court to four robberies and asked Judge Sarah Huggett to take into account another four crimes which took place over 10 months.
She jailed him on Friday for three years and six months with a non-parole period of one year and nine months, rejecting a defence submission that the term be served in the community.
Describing the sentencing exercise as “not easy”, she noted McCarty voluntarily ceased doing robberies many years ago, also gave up gambling and alcohol, and went on to carry out many good works in the community.
“I accept to an extent I must take into account the significant stale nature of the offences and the facts the offender is now 71 years of age and has some health concerns,” she said.
While she accepted that now, as a mature man, McCarty was remorseful for his offending, she said it was apparent this flowed from its effects on him and his wife.
The septuagenarian previously apologised to the bank staff he had threatened, saying he had ridiculously believed that the use of polite words like “thank you” would send signals that “I really didn’t mean any harm”.
“I truly hope you have been able to recover from the trauma I inflicted on you many years ago,” he testified.
McCarty, who was in his late 20s at the time, carried a water pistol and wore various disguises including sunglasses and moustaches.
He produced hand-written notes on withdrawal slips, warning tellers he was armed and demanding they hand over cash.