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Policeman was NSW robbery leader: court

AAP logoAAP 1/08/2016 By Rebekah Ison

A suspended policeman was the mastermind behind a plan to violently snatch bags carrying a combined $300,000 from outside a southwest Sydney money exchange, a court has heard.

Heavily armed officers pounced on Jamal Tashman, Phillip Truong and a then-senior constable shortly after they targeted two people in Cabramatta in September 2014.

During sentencing proceedings on Monday, Tashman and Truong said the policeman approached them about the plan, suggested stolen number plates be used to conceal the getaway car and gave Truong capsicum spray.

The court also heard he suggested the men, both 31, wear fluoro clothing to fit in with workers around the area.

"Are you saying to the court it was (the police officer) who instigated the offence?" Parramatta District Court Judge Martin Sides asked Truong during his testimony.

"Yes, that's correct," Truong replied.

The court heard Truong and Tashman had been friends since primary school and had known the policeman since high school.

Truong said he was $46,000 in debt when the officer suggested the snatch.

The court heard thar Tashman, who was using ice and steroids around the time of the offence, was also "desperate" because he was not working and couldn't support his wife.

Both men said the policeman told them they were going to steal around $20,000.

Tashman, who was employed as the getaway driver, wore a two-way radio to communicate with the policeman, the court heard.

He also said he was role playing and felt like he was in a movie before the men went to snatch the bags.

"You're going to be out there for 15 minutes, man," the court heard he said before the robbery.

"Good luck man, be ruthless man."

Tashman and Truong have both pleaded guilty to robbery armed with a dangerous weapon and assault with intent to rob.

Truong said he and the police officer went to the robbery site on at least two Mondays before they were arrested but decided to wait for a better opportunity.

He and Tashman both said they had expressed concerns about the plan to the policeman and that they were deeply sorry for the affect their crimes had on their job prospects and victims.

Police at the time alleged capsicum spray was used against the victims.

Truong said he never had any intention of using his spray and only took it to ease the policeman's mind about his personal safety.

Tashman said it was his understanding the officer had been suspended for steroid use.

Both men are due to be sentenced next week.

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