Teen to spend second Christmas in jail after alleged robbery
AN 18-year-old will spend his second Christmas in a row in jail after being denied bail for allegedly robbing an elderly man at the Kepnock Rd Retirement Village earlier this week.
Co-offenders Christopher James Bell, 17, and Matthew Stewart Maughan, 18, today faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court to apply for bail over an incident where the pair allegedly broke into an army disposal store and stole a number of items including three replica firearms.
Police allege the pair used the weapons to hold up an 87-year-old man in the middle of the night, taking his wallet, keys and car.
While the more youthful Bell, who has only one criminal entry on his record, was granted bail for what Magistrate Deb Vasta described a lesser role in which he was "more or less along for the ride", his older co-offender Maughan was not so lucky.
"His criminal history troubles me," Mrs Vasta said of Maughan who has previous convictions for robbery and arson.
Mrs Vasta said despite claims that Maughan used the money from the wallet for food, she worried he had used it to purchase drugs given how quickly some of it was allegedly spent before police caught up with the duo.
"It indicates to me it was used for more than a McDonald's Happy Meal," Mrs Vasta said while acknowledging she was making inferences.
"I think drugs have a very strong hold on you."
As Mrs Vasta told Maughan she would not be granting him bail, he said to her "no" and started explaining that he didn't have much of the money in the first place and that he wanted to be home for Christmas and his mother's birthday, especially after missing both last year when he was also in jail.
"It's something that you should have thought about earlier," Mrs Vasta said.
"You are only 18 and I take very seriously remanding an 18-year-old in custody... I don't do it lightly."
Bell's bail conditions included a 6am-9pm curfew, an order for no contact with Maughan who will be in custody and instructions not to go within 100m of the victim's home.
"You have a traumatised elderly man and I don't want him coming across you and reliving any of these experiences," she said.
Both teens are due to appear in court for committal mentions on January 9 next year.