A GAMBLER who robbed Tamworth Good Guys at knife point to recoup money he lost on the pokies has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Jeffrey Allan Smith, 34, busted through the doors of the white goods shop under the influence of a cocktail of Xanax, cannabis and the drug ice on the afternoon of June 28, 2018.
He has remained in prison since he was arrested at the cinema 11 months ago, Tamworth District Court heard on Thursday, and has written letters of apology to the two victims he threatened.
One of the victims still struggles to feel safe, Judge Jeffery McLennan said.
"She has now installed safety devices in her own home which reflects her anxiety," he said.
"It has increased to a point where in her words, 'Sometimes I feel broken'.
"There is no doubt the impact on her has been severe."
Smith took his blue Mitsubishi Magna through McDonalds drive thru at West Tamworth before he went to the Tamworth Services Club at 9:30am in the days before.
After playing the poker machine for about three hours, he stopped off at Bunnings and picked up two sets of gloves, two dust masks and a disposable coverall and left without paying.
Meanwhile one of the workers at the BP service station had just started his shift when Smith pulled up.
It was there that Smith stole the victim's number plates and attached them to his car in preparation for the Good Guy's robbery the next day.
On June 28 at 4:22pm, Smith parked out the front of the store wearing sunglasses, the hood of the disposable coverall he stole from Bunnings and a sharp object in his hand.
Two women stood behind the counter when Smith burst in, holding them at knife point.
"Give me the money, give me the money," Smith shouted.
"Just give him the money," one of the victim's told the other.
Smith fled the scene with $3745, he was in the store for just 27 seconds.
Born in Ryde, Smith is an only child who witnessed domestic violence from a young age that left him feeling 'scared', the court heard.
His mother was addicted to heroin and his father to methamphetamine, he was forced to leave the home at 14.
He then started using drugs and was the subject of sexual abuse on multiple occasions, Judge McLennan said.
"Unsurprisingly perhaps, his schooling experience was difficult, characterised by delinquent behaviour he was asked to leave in Year 9," he said.
Judge McLennan sentenced Smith to a non-parole period of two years and four months in prison, backdated to June 28, 2018.
He received a 25 per cent discount for his early guilty plea and will be eligible for release in October 2020.
"From a practical point of view Mr Smith you have about another year and four months to go," he said.
Smith's full sentence including his parole period will expire in June 2022.