Mum's heartbreak as armed robber son jailed
SHE was only 15 when she gave birth to her son.
And yesterday, 19 years later, she was left heartbroken as that boy was jailed for armed robbery.
The court heard the mother's situation was like a baby raising a baby.
On February 18, 2018, at 3.15am Marcus Dylan Hartley entered the United service station with two knives, jumped on to the counter and demanded the attendant hand over all the money.
CCTV footage was played in Bundaberg District Court, and Hartley's mother, sitting right beside the defendant in the dock, started sobbing at the footage of her son. A total $380 was taken before Hartley exited and ran east from the service station.
When police located the defendant, who was 18 at the time, they also found his burnt clothes in the backyard.
The court heard Hartley was also charged with stealing a charity tin from a local business, and common assault for punching his brother in the face.
Defence barrister Simone Bain said at the time her client was highly motivated by money due to his addiction to methyl amphetamine and sometimes heroin.
"His abusive addiction to amphetamines has been plaguing his life for some time," Ms Bain said.
"Now that he's clean and can think clearly, he would apologise to the man if he could.
"He understands it would have been terrifying."
Ms Bain detailed to the court Hartley's incredibly dysfunctional and upsetting childhood.
She told the court that he had been medicated since the age of two after a string of behavioural issues led his mother to seek the help of a doctor.
Hartley's mother described her care for her son as "a baby raising a baby", because she was only 15 when she gave birth to him, and was now one of eight children.
He had suffered from ADHD and later PTSD due to childhood trauma.
Judge Leanne Clare said it was clear Hartley's mother would still do anything for her son.
"I am guessing that your mother did her very best to raise you, she is here to support you today, and it's clear this is breaking her heart," Judge Clare said.
"No one wants to see a young man like you locked up... but there must be a sentence of actual imprisonment today for a crime of this level of seriousness."
Hartley was already on bail for punching his brother at the time of the armed robbery offence.
He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and given a parole release date of October 19, 2019, considering he had already served 121 days in pre-sentence custody.