Two youths threatened an 18-year-old with a knife in a robbery.
Two youths threatened an 18-year-old with a knife in a robbery.

Mum’s disgust at son’s “gutless” robbery

TWO youths armed with a knife kicked into a teenager threatening to kill him while pulling off his shirt and grabbing his mobile phone and necklace.

They ran off laughing in the late night robbery.

An Ipswich Judge called their ugly behaviour "gutless", saying it was a terrible thing to do in what was their first criminal offences.

The youths were aged 13 and 16 when they attacked the vulnerable teenager after midnight as he walked home listening to music on his headphones.

The robbers also stole the headphones.

Appearing in the dock of Ipswich Children's Court before Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC the youths, aged 16 and now 14, pleaded guilty to committing an armed robbery with personal violence at Springfield Lakes on July 1, 2019.

Crown legal officer Andreas Galloway said the youths did the robbery at 2am as their 18-year-old victim walked home.

Mr Galloway said the teen was wearing a yellow baseball cap and silver chain when he was suddenly attacked from behind.

He was hit by one of the youths and fell to the ground dazed and confused.

He was cowardly kicked in the back and stomach - his attackers demanding he give them his jumper and silver chain.

They youths ripped off his jumper and unclipped his neck chain, one of them wielding a knife threatening to stab him with the knife saying "Don't snitch of I'll stab you".

The cowardly robbers ran off laughing and the dazed teen went home and his family called police.

Police went searching and saw one of the youths wearing the jumper and cap but they fled when they saw the officers.

"Their offending is aggravated by the knife and the threats to the victim. It is a very serious offence," Mr Galloway said.

He sought a penalty of 12 to 18 months on a supervised probation order.

He said that a report on the 16-year-old speaks to the influence of negative peer pressure and his use of substances.

Matthew Fairclough, lawyer for the 16-year-old offender, said he had discussed with him and his mother doing a Restorative Justice Order which was open to the court as a penalty.

He said a report speaks of factors that lend support to his conduct being out of character.

"He did suffer immediate consequences. He went into custody at 4.30am on Monday July 1. A frightening experience for him," Mr Fairclough said.

"He was bailed with a (night) curfew.

"His mother took a particularly dim view of his conduct and he was grounded and she made sure he complied with his curfew."

"Her comments (written) about her attitude was appropriate.

"He is not at school. Disengaged with education which contributed toward his conduct and his drinking played a part.

"He hopes get a job and make something of his life."

Mr Fairclough said completing a Restorative Justice order would help the teen gain insight to better understand the impact his crime had on others.

Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme for the 14-year-old said the crime was a big way to start criminal life, which he was sure was not where he wanted to head.

He said the youth did have an education scholarship and wanted to pursue his interest in sport.

He was born in Australia with New Zealand parents but was not an Australian citizen.

"His parents were very disturbed by his behaviour and taken their own measures to curtail his behaviour," Mr Seaholme said.

He too sought a Restorative Justice order as of benefit to the youth.

Judge Horneman-Wren said the teenager was attacked form behind and punched in the back of the head and fell to the ground.

He was kicked on the ground and robbed of his cap, jumper, chain, mobile phone and headphones with one of his attackers having a weapon, a knife.

"It was utterly gutless two of you together attacking a defenceless person and robbing him. There was nothing manly about what you did," Judge Horneman-Wren said to the sheepish looking youth's standing in the dock before him.

"When police approached you both ran away and they put the dogs on you and you were caught.

"Both had his (stolen) property.

"It is a big way indeed to kick off a criminal activities.

"It would be utterly frightening for the person to be attacked this way."

Judge Horneman-Wren warned that this conduct as adults would send them to jail - "simple as that".

He warned one of them that even young people who were not Australian citizens are deported for their serious crimes.

"Think very hard. It is an appalling way for both of you to find yourselves in court.

"It is thuggish behaviour on the street."

He ordered that both complete a 12 month supervised Restorative Justice order and do what was ordered.

No convictions were recorded.

Read more stories from Ross Irby.