The Liberty service station on Centre St in Casino.
The Liberty service station on Centre St in Casino. Hamish Broome

Five men plead guilty to servo robbery charges

FIVE men charged over a violent armed robbery at a Casino petrol station have pleaded guilty to various offences.

Shortly before 7am on March 25 last year, Tyler Samuel Williams, 30, his brother Tyrone Timothy Williams, 24, and Denzel Walker, 21, entered the Liberty service centre.

Their faces were covered and Tyrone Williams was wielding a pole as they rushed at the lone employee, Ken Whitton, and stole hundreds of dollars from the till. Walker had a knife. Leonard Charles Langford Baker, 46, and Tyrall Cowan, 23, were waiting nearby.

Until this week, the fact Walker had pleaded guilty to armed robbery causing wounding and was sentenced in March to seven years' prison with a four year non-parole period, could not be revealed as those details were subject to a non-publication order to protect the trials of his co-accused.

But after his four co-accused lodged guilty pleas, this order was lifted.

Cowan has pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and will face a sentencing hearing before Lismore District Court on November 1.

The Williams brothers and Baker each pleaded guilty to robbery in company in June and they faced Lismore District Court for a sentencing hearing yesterday. The men had been at a birthday party in Casino the night of March 24 and had been consuming alcohol and drugs, the court heard.

The court heard Tyler Williams, the oldest child in his family, had been the only accused on bail since the incident and had been caring for his ill father during that time.

The Crown prosecutor asked him whether he had led the actions of the other men involved in the robbery, but Williams - who was the first to enact violence against the victim, by punching him - said this was not the case. Williams said he couldn't recall who first suggested they rob the service station, an idea which arose while they were at the party.

"Someone said it, but I can't recall who," Williams said.

"It was the first time I'd been on drugs and I don't know what I was doing."

In his March sentencing hearing, Denzel Walker's solicitor, Hugh van Dugteren, told the court his client had "grown up in an environment of social deprivation where there's been exposure to drugs and alcohol abuse and domestic violence". Similar circumstances were raised in respect of the three men before court this week.

The court heard the men spent the money on alcohol and gambling.

Judge Julia Baly is expected to hand down her sentence to Williams, Williams and Baker on Friday.

Tyler Williams has been remanded in custody, where his brother and Baker were already being held.