21 year old Mahmoud Taha has been sentenced to 5 years and 9 months in prison, with a non-parole period of three years, for his role in masterminding several armed heists across Melbourne during 2016. Taha, who orchestrated several jewellery store break-ins and armed robberies throughout 2016, promised his accomplices “hotels and girls” in exchange for their assistance in carrying out the crimes. The group used sledgehammers to break into 2 different jewellery stores — Citizen Victorian Watch Repair in Melbourne’s CBD, and Farah Jewellery in Coburg, as well as using a firearm to mug a courier of $236,000 at Broadmeadows shopping centre.

Taha, who was a cocaine and methamphetamine addict at the time of the robberies, spent the money accrued from the crimes on drugs and designer clothing. He has already served 466 days in presentence detention, and will be eligible for parole next year. Despite the crimes causing more than $200,000 worth of damage and stock loss at the two jewellery stores, not to mention untold levels of emotional distress to the victims, Judge Wendy Wilmoth justified the light sentencing by pointing out that “No one was harmed” (physically).

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