The kickboxing champion who masterminded a notorious $2.3 million heist of an Armaguard van is now fighting his way out of jail less than two years after being sentenced for the notorious robbery.
- Pasquale Lanciana appealing the 2021 sentence
- Says jurors disagreed on a verdict
- Lanciana was convicted of planning a $2.3 million heist
The mastermind behind a notorious Melbourne heist where $2.3m was stolen from an Armaguard van nearly three decades ago has launched an appeal.
Pasquale ‘No Mercy’ Lanciana was jailed for 14 years in September 2021, after a County Court jury found him guilty of organizing or participating in the June 1994 robbery, falsely imprisoning guards and laundering the money in cash.
Posing as workmen, five robbers wearing glasses and hardhats set up an elaborate roadworks site. They started a concrete saw to distract the driver of an Armaguard pickup when they stopped at the fake site.
The group then handcuffed three security guards at gunpoint and placed plastic bags over their heads, before driving through Richmond’s back streets.
The stolen money has never been recovered.
Lanciana, a former kickboxer, was convicted of armed robbery, false imprisonment and seven counts of money laundering and must serve 10 years before being eligible for parole.
Pasquale ‘No Mercy’ Lanciana (pictured) was jailed for 14 years in September 2021
He has launched an appeal of both his conviction and sentence, alleging that the jury was improperly instructed before they retired to deliberate on their verdict.
His lawyer, Tim Game SC, told the Court of Appeal on Tuesday that the prosecution’s instructions to the jury in Laciana’s trial may have led the jurors to reach a guilty verdict on different grounds.
“I could have any number of jurors, say seven, find you guilty of being present but not organizing, and any number of jurors (finding you) not present but organized,” he told the court in Melbourne.
‘Under these instructions, you now have different acts… with different bases of liability.’
Lanciano launched an appeal of both his conviction and sentence, alleging that jurors were misdirected before withdrawing to deliberate on the 2021 verdict.
Game said that if some jurors found him not guilty of planning the heist, then he should be acquitted.
Prosecutor Diana Piekusis KC said there was evidence at trial that Lanciana had organized the robbery and that “this is not a circumstance where one theory can exculpate the alternative theory.”
Lanciana, who appeared via video link from prison, is the only person charged in the heist.
He was arrested in 2016 and spent more than two years in custody before being granted bail when the jury at his first trial in 2019 failed to reach a verdict.
Justices David Beach, Stephen McLeish and Maree Kennedy adjourned the court to consider their decision.
Percy ‘No Mercy’ Lanciana (right) was a feared kickboxer at the time he was involved in the heist.