Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
Umm, well, this is awkward.
A former stock trader has admitted to police, some 40 years later, that he would “get boozed at lunch time”, and carrying a water pistol and wearing disguises including fake moustaches and sunglasses, would drunkenly rob Sydney banks.
Ross McCarty, now aged 71, last month admitted his double life to police, detailing the hold-ups he carried out in 1977 and 1978.
It was revealed Mr McCarty, armed with his water pistol and masked with fake facial hair, would scribble his demands for cash on withdrawal slips along with warnings that he was armed, then hand them to tellers, insisting they give him large amounts of cash.
“No funny business,” one of the notes is believed to have threatened.
On several occasions, he also sported felt, tweed, straw or terry towelling hats to further his disguise.
However, the man wasn’t arrested until 2018 when the unsolved robbery cases were reopened by detectives, which led to a fingerprint analysis on the notes that proved a match with that of Mr McCarty in the police database.
At the time of the bank robberies, Mr McCarty was in his 20s and owed a significant amount of money to illegal gambling clubs across Sydney.
The banks he targeted included ANZ, National Bank, Commercial, the Bank of NSW and the Rural Bank.
On Friday 18 September 2020, Mr McCarty faced the District Court where he pleaded guilty to four robberies and another four hold ups.
He was sentenced to a term of 3.5 years in jail with a non-parole period of one year and nine months.
During the sentencing, District Court Judge Sarah Huggett said McCarty committed the crimes as an “intelligent and educated” man in his 20s, adding they were carried out with both planning and purpose.
“They were deliberate, intended and motivated by financial gain,” District Court Judge Huggett said.
Meanwhile, the court heard that Mr McCarty read a letter addressed to the victims in which he apologised for the “terror inflicted” upon them.
“My circumstances at the time made it easy to delude myself into thinking my appalling actions were justified,” the man said.
“I wrongly thought that being polite and using words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ would let you know that I didn’t mean harm.”
It was also revealed to the court that along with Mr McCarty’s former gambling problem, he also suffered alcoholism, however in the last 30 years he had not had a drink or placed a bet, while at the age of 60, he was diagnosed with adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Currently, Mr McCarty works as a project manager and his employer has put forward that he will re-hire him after he has completed his prison sentence.
Mr McCarty will be eligible for parole in March 2022.
Illegal Casinos in Bondi; Free Alcohol: The “Double Life” Mr McCarty Led
According to a statement of agreed facts, Mr McCarty began robbing banks because he was losing large amounts of money gambling which he needed to cover along with his living expenses.
He admitted he would visit an illegal casino in Bondi where he would play blackjack and drink free alcohol.
“I used to lap it up and it kind of snowballed … the more I did the worse I felt about the whole thing and [it] was leading a double life,” Mr McCarty told police.
Court documents also reveal that when he asked what he did with his robbery costumes, Mr McCarty clarified he would “dump those and just walk back to the office”.
“Often I’d be passing as the hold-up squad went the other way,” he was quoted having admitted.
Meanwhile, the only person Mr McCarty had ever shared his crimes with was his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, who declared he “took it with him to the grave”.
In 1979, Mr McCarty stopped robbing banks after ceasing gambling and securing a “really good job”.
Click here for an outline on the laws on robbery while being armed in NSW.
Robbery is a crime and encompasses stealing from another using threat(s) or physical force, with or without being armed with a weapon. The maximum penalties for armed robbery ranged from up to 20-year to 25-years imprisonment, under section 97 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
A writing good character letters for the court in criminal cases can help reduce the ultimate sentence that gets imposed by the sentencing Judge.
It is common for a person who is charged and detained by police for an armed robbery charge to be refused bail by police. In those circumstances, bail can be successfully achieved with the help of experienced bail lawyers in Sydney, and Parramatta.