Train robber's 'gutless act' against boy, 13

A YOUTH'S horrible behaviour on a train has been labelled "a gutless act" by an Ipswich sentencing Judge.

The youth threatened to bash then rob a boy of his scooter and his $300 watch.

"There's nothing strong about it," Judge Horneman-Wren SC told the 16-year-old who went before him in the dock at Ipswich Children's Court.

"I don't know if your mates would be impressed but I note none of them are here supporting you," Judge Horneman-Wren told him.

"This boy finally gave you his $300 watch so you would leave him and his friends alone.

"He was the strong one. He was prepared to give up his valuable property to save his mates (from being bashed).

"It is an example of teenage hoodlums acting in a lawless way, setting upon innocent users of our public transport.

"Young people are an easy target on our trains. They can't run away.

"The seats are arranged in such a way that kids like you can easily surround them this way.

"I don't know if you think it's tough to surround a boy and threaten him. I don't."

The youth pleaded guilty to committing robbery when in company on a train at Bundamba on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

Crown prosecutor, Farook Anoozer said the youth was 14 at the time and the victim a boy aged 13. They didn't know each other.

Mr Anoozer said the child was with friends when someone in the offender's group asked for cigarettes but was told "no, we don't smoke".

"Who we gonna bash first," someone said.

The youth told the child "give me your scooter or I'll bash you".

"I can't. I need it," the child said.

He demanded the boy's watch three or four times, threatening to bash him or his friends unless he handed it over.

Mr Anoozer said the youth was identified through CCTV in February last year.

The youth was recognised by police at his home from a photo on a letterbox flyer.

The Crown found that while it was to his credit that the youth had done 40 hours of unpaid community service work and co-operated with Youth Justice, the crime was serious.

"People need to feel safe on public transport," Mr Anoozer said.

Defence barrister Scott Neaves sought probation for the offence, and a conviction not be recorded.

He said the youth had been doing casual concreting work with a possibility of an apprenticeship.

"He has started heading down a positive track. He says he has stopped using illegal drugs," Mr Neaves said.

"There was no actual violence. It's more standover, bullying type of behaviour."

Judge Horneman-Wren said there were now encouraging signs in his behaviour.

He was engaged in Constructing New Futures course which was very positive, with employment an important way of rehabilitating.

He said an 18-month supervised probation order was appropriate. No conviction recorded.


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