Shortchanged at the till

CRIME paid a measly wage to armed robber John Oscar Asifiwe.

The 20-year-old Dandenong nursing student helped two males rob $1620 from a servo.

Asifiwe’s take was apparently just $20 – at the risk of up to 25 years’ jail.

He and a male co-offender jumped the Dingley Village servo’s counter and manhandled its 24-year-old attendant about 2.30am on 2 April last year.

The co-offender threatened the worker with a knife – though Asifiwe at one stage held the weapon as the register was forced open.

A helper waiting outside threw a wheelie bin and a lawnmower through the front glass doors, allowing the bandits’ escape.

In sentencing on 4 March, County Court judge Phillip Coish said Asifiwe committed a “horrible act” that terrified the victim.

“You played an active role though it may have been a last-minute action by you and it was unsophisticated.”

The Tanzanian-born Asifiwe had a difficult, disrupted childhood before arriving in Australia in 2008. Thirteen years were spent in a refugee camp.

He was a good student, who was active in the community, according to his mother. He changed when caught in a bad crowd.

Asifiwe was entitled to be judged of good character with high rehabilitation prospects – despite a subsequent affray charge, Judge Coish said.

He took into account Asifiwe’s early guilty plea, remorse, youthfulness, no adult prior convictions and his cooperation with police.

The accused’s admissions led to the prosecution of one of the co-offenders.

Asifiwe consented to a two-year supervised community order of 200 hours unpaid work.


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