Teen assaulted gran, pregnant girl before violent robbery
A JUVENILE offender with a seriously violent history where he assaulted a pregnant woman and her grandmother, said the violence he carried out during a robbery was to protect his partner.
The now 18-year-old was sentenced on November 19 in Rockhampton District Court after pleading guilty on an earlier date to one count of robbery in company with violence.
The defendant was 17 when he and his girlfriend robbed George St Foodworks in April.
The male teen entered the store and placed packets of pasta down his pants.
That was witnessed by a staff member on CCTV who notified the manager.
The manager asked the teen to put the items back.
Crown prosecutor Alana Murray said the juvenile threatened the first victim, saying if she was a man, he would punch her.
"He struck her first, before his partner and co-offender became involved and assaulted the second complainant," she said.
Ms Murray said the defendant threw a one kilogram sugar packet at the victim and left the store without paying.
She said the shop manager followed them out and request they return the items.
"The defendant then punched her head," Ms Murray said.
"She struck him to the jaw in her defence and then his co-offender assisted the defendant by punching the other victim and pulling on her hair.
"Bystanders in the car park witnessed the assault and called police."
She said both victims were taken to hospital for treatment with the second victim suffering swelling to her left forehead and pain in right hand.
Ms Murray said the first victim didn't have any noticeable injuries but was given painkillers.
She said the offenders were tracked by police dogs and one of the victims recognised the defendant as both attended the same primary school.
Ms Murray said the juvenile's eight-page criminal record included violence, dishonesty and enter premises convictions.
She said it appeared the juvenile had no bias towards who he assaulted with a 57-year-old male being one of his victims, and a 38-weeks pregnant woman along with her grandmother other victims.
"He has a history of inviting others to fight him," Ms Murray said.
She said when he was turned down, he would still carry out his assaults and only stopped when others intervened.
Ms Murray said the assault on the 57-year-old started with a banner being thrown by his co-offender from a Yeppoon traffic island at a moving vehicle, causing it to run off the road.
She said the male got out of the car, asked what they were doing, and that was when the assault took place.
At the time, the teen was subject to two probation orders.
Ms Murray said the assault by the defendant when he was 17, against the pregnant woman and her grandmother took place in their home in December 2019 and he was sentenced in April 2020.
She said the pregnant woman, 19 years old, lived with her grandmother.
Ms Murray said the defendant knocked on the front door, in the company of three others.
She said the pregnant woman told the defendant to go away and the grandmother came out to investigate the noise.
The defendant pushed past the 19-year-old and punched the grandmother in the face and pushed her onto a chair.
Ms Murray said the defendant grabbed the pregnant woman by her hair and threw her around before pushing her into a fish tank.
The court heard the defendant was on bail for those when he committed the robbery.
The defendant's time in custody was part of a four-month detention order of which he spent six weeks in custody, some of that at Capricornia Correctional Centre.
Ms Murray said the pre-sentence report written by youth justice showed the defendant had little remorse about his offending, and justified his actions were to protect the co-offender.
Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said the relationship with the co-offended ended shortly after the offence which involved methamphetamines.
He said his client did binge drink which led to "foolishly" committing crimes.
"He instructs he is no longer using meth," Mr Ahlstrand said.
He said his client had complex childhood trauma, difficulty processing emotions, substance misuse, associated with negative peers and normalised negative behaviour.
Mr Ahlstrand said his client had addressed some of this by no longer associating with negative peers.
Judge Jeff Clarke said it was unfortunate the defendant had resorted to violence.
"You had a horrible life as a child growing up," he said.
Judge Clarke said the defendant's parents were surrounded by drugs and alcohol and dysfunction.
He said the reports before him indicated the defendant resorted to violence as a way of demonstrating his frustration with what happened to him as a child.
Judge Clarke warned the defendant he would not keep employment if he was disagreeable and angry in the workplace.
He ordered the defendant to an eight-month detention order, immediately suspended and released on a three-month condition release order. No convictions were recorded.