Trapped pizza delivery man uses fork to escape from car boot
A HUMBLE kitchen fork saved the day for a pizza delivery driver who was thrown into the boot of his own car and driven off by a bunch of teenage thugs during a robbery.
The pizza heist took place after the lads played a late night game of basketball in a park.
An Ipswich court this week heard threats were made to shoot and kill the victim, who lay trapped in the boot of a Toyota Corolla during the terrifying ordeal.
However, the quick thinking victim used a fork that was in the boot to manipulate the boot lock and jump from the moving car at Goodna.
The details of the robbery were revealed at Ipswich Children's Court on Monday when one of the offenders pleaded guilty for his role in the crime.
Now aged 19, the young African born male was dealt with under the Juvenile Justices Act, pleading guilty to committing an armed robbery in company at Goodna on December 5, 2019; entering premises to steal; deprivation of liberty; unlawful use of a stolen motor vehicle at Goodna; two charges of common assault; and stealing a pizza, $40 cash, and a mobile phone.
Crown prosecutor Victoria Adams said the offender now has convictions as an adult, for offences committed after the pizza robbery.
Ms Adams said the pizza was ordered online with the offenders to pay cash upon delivery at 11pm.
The driver was then told to drive a short distance down the road near a park.
He was then told by the young males that he would not be paid.
One of the males was armed with a wooden stick and the delivery driver was ordered to hand over his mobile phone and its PIN code so the offenders could access his online banking application.
One of the teen robbers stole property in a bag from the Toyota.
Ms Adams said the frightened driver couldn't remember his PIN to unlock the phone and threats were made to kill him.
"Let me get my gun and I'll kill him," one of the young robbers said.
The delivery driver was pushed into the boot of his Toyota by his attackers and driven off around various streets in Goodna.
Ms Adams said this lasted about eight minutes and when the car stopped his captors opened the boot.
He was struck in the head and again shoved back into the boot when he could not remember his phone code.
Ms Adams said the victim was able to jump from the boot of the moving car and suffered bruising to his neck, and abrasions to his elbows and shoulders.
The offender's DNA was found inside the abandoned Toyota, in addition to his fingerprints on the boot.
There was no prosecution evidence that he directly threatened the pizza delivery driver, only that he was party to the crime that night.
He also pleaded guilty to stealing mobile phones from a Good Guys store at Toowoomba.
In that crime three young males walked into the store and stole three phones that were on display.
CCTV showed the offender touching a barbecue in the store and police were able to lift his fingerprints from it.
He had since spent 130 days in an adult jail held on remand.
The prosecution sought a penalty of a supervised probation order.
A Youth Justice department officer told the court the offender pleaded guilty before Christmas when still 18 and that he only turned 19 this year.
The court heard that his first language was Swahili and an older brother had been assisting his lawyer in the matter.
Born in a refugee camp in Burundi he arrived in Australia with his mother and brothers in 2016.
Defence lawyer Bruce Peters said the 19-year-old instructed that he only met the other offenders that night when playing basketball at a Goodna park.
He said the offender now realises that the victim would have been scared.
"He says he didn't put the pizza boy in the boot. He accepts liability as being in the group," Mr Peters said.
Judge Bernard Porter QC said while some may view with cynicism that he only met the offenders that night when playing basketball, he would accept this was true which would have a significant impact on what penalty he imposed.
He said that in July last year the offender was sentenced as an adult for stealing and frauds, and received a nine-month probation order.
Judge Porter said he was an African immigrant who people would only wish to have a successful life here, and who should do his best to avoid further offences.
He was sentenced to a 12-month probation order with no conviction recorded.