News

A week out of jail and he's robbing a 69-year-old man

RELEASED from jail and on parole for just seven days, a Bundaberg man entered the home of a frail 69-year-old man before threatening and robbing him of $800.

Christopher James Blackburn, 30, plead guilty entering a dwelling with intent, demanding money with menace and stealing in the Bundaberg District Court on Tuesday.

The court heard on January 26 last year the complainant was playing the pokies at The Waves when he had a win and struck up a conversation with Blackburn's partner and co-offender Jessica Anne McDowall, 31.

Crown prosecutor Maita Aylward said McDowall accompanied the complainant back to his house and unbeknown to the complainant, Blackburn and another woman followed them.

She said once McDowall and the complainant were inside Blackburn entered the house via an unlocked door and with a clenched his fist, demanded the complainant hand over money.

Ms Aylward said Blackburn said "She's only 15, she's my sister".

She also said Blackburn told the complainant not to go to the police and that he had just got out of prison.

Judge Brendan Butler asked the Crown when it was accepted that Blackburn made the decision to enter the house and demand the cash.

"When he got out of the car, when he went through the door with a clenched fist," Ms Aylward said.

But Ms Aylward said the Crown's case was that Blackman watched the victim and was upset because McDowell was paying him some attention.

"There was an offer of her services to him (the complainant)," she said.

Ms Aylward also highlighted Blackburn's lengthy criminal history which included 11 periods in jail and said Blackburn and McDowall were both on parole at the time for supplying drugs to a correctional faculty.

In his clients defence, barrister Paul Rutledge said his clients clearly had an issue with drugs, which began when he started taking speed aged 13. H

e said despite that he had the ongoing support of his mother, who also cared for Blackburn's two children.

Mr Rutledge argued the incident was at the low end of this type of offending.

"He didn't go in there armed," he said.

"There was no actual violence to person or property."

Judge Butler sentenced Blackburn to two years jail with a parole eligibility date of July 2 this year after taking a number of factors into consideration, including the fact that Blackburn's plea saved the complainant the stress of coming to court and giving evidence.

"I am sentencing on the basis there was no pre-planning, it was a spur of the moment decision," he said.

"You did not actually hit or strike the victim or touch him for that matter."

Judge Butler also took into consideration that since the incident the complainant no longer visited The Waves and no longer trusted strangers.

"He feels more vulnerable that he did before," he said.

Judge Butler also told Blackburn he needed to address his drug issues or he was going to spend the majority of the rest of his life behind bars.

Topics:  editors picks robbery



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