Schalk Steven Herbst, 23, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on October 15 to one count of robbery. Picture: Facebook
Schalk Steven Herbst, 23, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on October 15 to one count of robbery. Picture: Facebook

Druggie steals man’s phone to pay off drug debt

A ROCKHAMPTON man was robbed of his phone by a druggie “desperately” trying to pay of a drug debt.

Schalk Steven Herbst, 23, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on October 15 to one count of robbery.

Crown prosecutor Ryan Godfrey said Herbst had created an online alias and began messaging the victim about a mobile phone he had advertised for sale for $1250.

Mr Godfrey said on March 28, 2019, Herbst was driven to the victim’s house by a friend.

He said he gave the victim a bag, believed to be the money to purchase the phone, however the bag was empty and the victim asked where his money was, to which Herbst replied he would get his money the next day.

He said the victim demanded his phone be returned to him, to which Herbst removed the phone from its box and threw the empty box at the victim telling him the phone was inside. The victim could see his phone inside the car.

He said Herbst told the victim, “If you do not let go of this door in the next three seconds you are going to have a broken jaw”.

He said the victim let go of Herbst’s car door and the car drove away.

He said Herbst continued to message the victim warning him not to do anything hasty or else the situation would escalate.

The court heard Herbst admitted to police to taking the phone to settle a drug debt.

Herbst admitted to creating a fake email account and alias to avoid detection and had used 1.5g of methamphetamine prior to the robbery but did not recall threatening the victim.

Mr Godfrey said Herbst was on a four-month suspended sentence at the time of committing the offences, as well as parole and probation.

Barrister Maree Willey said her client was under the influence of drugs at the time of committing the offence.

Ms Willey said there was a level of “desperation” in his offending.

“He instructs he had been recently threatened in respect of money owed to another,” she said.

“He became stressed after he received those threats.

“He says he doesn’t know what was going through his mind at the time.”

She said he started using meth after moving into a share house in Rockhampton in January 2018.

She said he had left that house after committing this offence and now lived with his parents in Gladstone.

“There has been no further offending in the last 18 months,” she said.

Herbst was sentenced to 18 months’ prison, wholly suspended for two years with a criminal conviction recorded. He was ordered to pay $1250 restitution and his four-month suspended sentence was activated with immediate parole.

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