‘We run this place’: Thug punches, robs women
A MAN and a group of thugs brandished large knives as they violently assaulted strangers before robbing them, including a woman on The Strand, a court has heard.
Adam John Bonadio, 20, targeted and violently robbed tourists staying at the Adventurers Backpackers on Palmer St at South Townsville in May 2019, before robbing a woman a week later. The court heard in the early hours of May 5, 2019, Bonadio, accompanied by three others, approached a young man who was staying at the hostel to attend the Groovin the Moo music festival.
The young man shared his rum with Bonadio and the three others in the group, and when he went to retrieve it from them, all four members lifted up their shirts showing large knives tucked into their pants. A member of the group said: "This is our streets, we run this place." The young man handed over $90 and fled.
The court heard on the same night, Bonadio and his group ran up to a Frenchwoman while brandishing their knives and grabbed the shoulder strap of her backpack demanding she give up her bag. When she fought back, Bonadio punched her in the face.
He punched her a further two times causing bruising, bleeding and swelling. Another French tourist who rushed to help the woman was also set upon by the group.
Bonadio then walked up to another woman and struggled to take her bag, while a co-offender punched her in the face.
Six days later on May 11, 2019, Bonadio was with someone else when he robbed a woman who was walking along The Strand at night.
He hit her in the face and took her phone while his co-offender took her bag and the pair ran away. Crown prosecutor Aaron Dunkerton told the Townsville District Court, Bonadio, despite his youth, had 44 previous convictions.
Bonadio pleaded guilty to five charges including one count of robbery armed in company.
Defence barrister Dane Marley said his client was "ashamed and embarrassed" over his conduct and had acted very foolishly. Judge Gregory Lynham said Bonadio's offending was "serious" and directed towards innocent visitors who didn't deserve the violence.
"Each of the backpackers will have lasting memories of their time in Townsville," Judge Lynham said.
"Not the sort of memories they would cherish or hold."
Bonadio was sentenced to four years' jail.
He will be eligible for parole on September 28.
Originally published as 'We run this place': Thug punches, robs women