Ex-barista helped plan San Churro robbery

A barista who helped her former boyfriend violently rob her employer, the owner of Wollongong’s San Churro chocolate cafe, has avoided time behind bars.

Figtree mother Natasha Kirkland received a two-year suspended jail term in Wollongong District Court on Thursday for her part in the daring late-night robbery.

The 22-year-old, who pleaded guilty to armed robbery, admitted to helping her one-time partner and another man, who cannot be named, steal from her employer, identifying the cafe owner’s car and promising to drive the pair from the scene.

The robbery was planned after Kirkland, whose parents lived next door to the eatery’s owner, revealed how much money the busy store was bringing in.

 In sentencing, Judge Paul Conlon conceded the woman had played a subordinate role but noted it was a serious crime.

He told the court Kirkland had co-operated with police, admitting to officers that she had provided information about the business to her co-offenders and had promised to act as the getaway driver.

Judge Conlon said the woman had accepted responsibility for the offence, expressing remorse for breaking her neighbour’s trust.