Judge tells teen robber to apologise
A 14-YEAR-OLD boy was robbed of his mobile phone in a frightening attack carried out by a group of older boys who outnumbered him eight to one.
One teenage offender, Trinity Kingi, then aged 18, was brought before Ipswich District Court to be sentenced for his role in the robbery.
The Judge told Kingi it would be a good idea to write an apology letter to the boy who may view him as being “something of a monster”.
Trinity Kingi, 19, from Bellbird Park, pleaded guilty to committing a robbery in company at Springfield on March 30, 2019.
Crown legal officer Andreas Galloway said the 14-year-old victim had been walking to Springfield train station at 5.30pm when a group of eight offenders approached him.
Kingi demanded the victim empty his pockets.
When the boy refused Kingi made a fist saying “give me your f***ing phone”.
Another male grabbed the boy’s cap and a female demanded “Give me your slides” (shoes). A train travel GoCard was stolen from the boy’s bag.
Mr Galloway said Kingi still had the boy’s GoCard in his pocket when police spoke to him later.
The stolen phone was never located by police.
The mother of the 14-year-old boy wrote a victim impact statement which was read by Judge Bernard Porter QC.
Judge Porter asked whether Kingi was willing to pay compensation for the phone.
Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme said Kingi’s mother had written a letter to the court that sets out her son’s remorse, and “the disrespect it has brought upon the family”.
“His mother emphasised he had no male role model at home,” Mr Seaholme said.
“Putting him on supervised probation may give him insight.
“There was no actual violence. He was involved in a group who were intoxicated at the time.
“That is not to downplay the impact it had on the young boy.”
Judge Porter then made his observation about Kingi writing a letter of apology.
“The fact is for a young boy Mr Kingi is probably something of a monster in his life,” Judge Porter said.
“A letter may reassure him he has nothing to fear. It might make him feel better.”
Mr Seaholme told the court Kingi was willing to pay $500 toward the loss of the boy’s mobile phone.
Judge Porter shed more light on the Crown facts, saying a woman intervened and scared the offenders away.
Judge Porter said the victim had left his casual job because he was fearful of travelling.
“It was a cowardly robbery,” he said.
Judge Porter said he remained optimistic that Kingi was not of bad character.
He sentenced Kingi to a supervised two-year probation order. A conviction was not recorded against him.