INVESTIGATION: A computer generated image of the armed robber.
CHAD Butterworth needed a haircut.
He had just seen a computer-generated image of a manwho had badly bashed a covert cash transit guard over the head with a metal pole in an attempted armed robbery and suddenly he felt like a change.
“Can you cut my mullet off?” Butterworth asked his girlfriendduring a conversation recorded by police.
Butterworth, then 21, and two other men had confronted the guard, who was carrying $80,000 in cash, outside the Westpac Bank at New Lambton about 3pm on December 19, 2014.
Butterworth, dubbed the ‘Bogan Bandit’,had actually been shot in the left shoulder by the then 45-year-old guard, who despite nearly losing consciousness managed tosqueeze off one round as he was being repeatedly bashed in the head.
But no one except the robbers knew Butterworth had been hit.
He managed to escape the scene in a stolen white Ford Laser sedan, affixed with stolen number plates, received medical treatment and evaded arrest for the best part of 18 months.
But a pair of sunglasses would lead to his downfall.
In February, 2016, police found images on Butterworth’s Facebook page that showed him wearing a pair of “mirrored” sunglasses similar to the ones left at the scene by one of the robbers.
Police then began tapping his phones and listening into his conversations at home before releasing the computer-generated image of one of the armed robbers.
Detectives were listening in as a flustered Butterworth discussed how much the image looked like him.
“Do you think it looks like me?” he asked. “What if I cut my hair off. “Can you cut my mullet off? “Well I fit the description. 180cm tall. Except that I am 185. And Caucasian, early 20’s. With a mullet style haircut. Yeah, cut if off.”
When police arrested Butterworth in May, 2016, they took a DNA swab and photographs of scars on his left shoulder.
Butterworth’s DNA profile matched a swab taken from the right arm of the sunglasses found at the scene and a forensic pathologist opined that the scars were such that it was “very likely Mr Butterworth had been shot with a handgun”.
Due to face a trial this week, Butterworth pleaded guilty to his role and will be sentenced in Newcastle District Court in April.