Teen thief armed with box cutter just misses prison sentence
A TEENAGER who threatened a victim with a box cutter before stealing his phone has been warned if he was sentenced as an adult, he would have faced a prison sentence.
The boy, 17 at the time of the offence but now 18, pleaded guilty to armed robbery in Gladstone District Court on Wednesday appearing by videolink from Toowoomba.
Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke told the court that on October 10 the boy was at the Stockland shopping centre when he took a scooter from a victim, 15, and walked away while the victim yelled at him.
She said the boy came back and claimed to have hidden the scooter in a park.
The victim walked over to try to find the scooter when the boy demanded the victim's phone and when the victim refused, the boy produced a box cutter knife.
The boy walked the victim to a nearby toilet block and told him nothing would happen, however once in the toilet block he produced the box cutter again and demanded the phone, the victim complied.
Ms O'Rourke said the boy was located on October 14 when he told police he was intoxicated at the time of the offence.
She said the fact the offence was against a child was concerning.
"He isolated the victim from his peers in order to rob him," Ms O'Rourke said.
Defence barrister Scott Moon said his client, who had since moved to Toowoomba, had shown expressions of genuine remorse.
"This was born out of alcohol," Mr Moon said.
"This was a one-off event and significantly out of character."
Judge Michael Burnett's sentence came with a stern warning for the juvenile.
"If you were 18 at the time of this offence being committed you would be dealt with entirely differently," Judge Burnett said.
"You would have received a prison sentence."
The boy was sentenced to a restorative justice order, no conviction was recorded.