News

Man wins on pokies then allegedly robbed after sex offer

THREE people have faced court and two now remain behind bars after an elderly man reported he was robbed of his gambling winnings by a woman who offered him sex for money outside a Bundaberg sports club at the weekend.

Christopher James Blackburn, 29, of Bundaberg West, Julie Anne English, 36, of Bundaberg South, and Jessica Anne McDowall, 31 of Thabeban, yesterday faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court charged with one count each of robbery in company and entering a dwelling with intent.

Police allege on Sunday afternoon, the 70-year-old man was playing the pokies at The Waves when McDowall approached him and requested $20, which he gave to her.

McDowall is said to have moved back and forth between the elderly man playing the pokies, who had about $1200 in his wallet from gambling wins, and her friends English and Blackburn.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Vicki Kennedy-Grills said when the elderly man won $400 and went to leave, McDowall followed him, asking if she could go to his house for coffee which he agreed to.

"Whilst in the carpark, Ms McDowall offered to have sex with him for a sum of money," Snr Const Kennedy-Grills said.

The pair returned to the man's house while Blackburn and English allegedly followed behind them unbeknownst to the victim.

"Once inside Ms McDowall said 'we'll have a shower - you have one first'," the prosecutor said.

But before he got in the shower, Blackburn allegedly busted into the house telling the man "I know what you're up to, my sister is only 15, empty your wallet", despite McDowall not being his sister and clearly not being underage.

Snr Const Kennedy-Grills said the elderly man handed over $800 while Blackburn continued to yell at him, telling him not to call police because he had only been released from jail days before on January 19.

The prosecutor said Blackburn had an 'abhorrent history' and had already come the attention of police "on numerous occasions" since being released from jail just over a week before the alleged offence.

Backburn questioned the reliability of the elderly man as a witness pointing out that he had agreed to pay for sex but Snr Const Kennedy-Grills said that only made it more unlikely that he was lying given it would be embarrassing to admit.

"There's two sides to every story," Blackburn said.

"It didn't happen like that. It's not a robbery like that."

The court was told McDowall also had an extensive history and like Blackburn, was on parole, while English was on probation and community service orders.

Blackburn and McDowall were denied bail while English, who has a lesser criminal history and whose involvement is alleged to have been as a lookout rather than a key player, was allowed bail.

All will appear in court again on March 20.

Topics:  bundaberg magistrates court offbeat



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