Robbery ‘a disgraceful, cowardly act’ – judge

A District Court judge has described a street robbery in Brisbane’s Forest Lake last year by a gang of juveniles as a disgraceful cowardly act.

Judge Philip Robin, QC, told Brendan Scott Williams, now 18, he was part of a gang of six or seven drunken, rowdy teens roaming the streets.

He told Williams: “You ought to be ashamed.”

Williams, who was 17 at the time, pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery with personal violence while in company on 8 September, 2012

Crown prosecutor Brendan White told the court Williams and six or seven other young men attacked two men of similar age in Forest Lake around 10pm.

He said Williams punched one of the victims in the back of the head three times and stole a wallet from a backpack.

Defence counsel Rob White said the robbery was at the lower end of street robberies in its seriousness.

Judge Robin said being threatened by a gang would have been just as terrifying for the victims as being threatened with a knife.

Mr White said since the incident Williams had supported his ex-girlfriend at hospital in her illness and “realised there was more to life than mucking around with his mates and drinking”.

He said Williams spent a night in custody after his arrest which he found unpleasant, freezing and a short, sharp shock.

He had returned to school and to playing AFL and had the support of his family.

Judge Robin said: “We have to cling to the hope that with the support you have, things will turn out well rather than badly in the coming years.”

He ordered Williams to perform 170 hours’ community service and placed him on two years’ probation.

No conviction was recorded.

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