Teenagers steal laptop on train

TWO teenagers harassed a passenger on a train before running away with his laptop computer, a court heard.

Ipswich District Court was told Harlin Russell Sandy and a friend asked a stranger for phone numbers of girls before grabbing his laptop.

Sandy, 18, and his friend got on a Rosewood-bound train at Ipswich about 11.15pm on May 14 as two security guards hopped off, sitting next to the complainant.

Crown Prosecutor Sal Vasta said the pair asked Jye Burton if he knew any white women they could have sex with because they were new to the area.

Mr Burton was reluctant and Sandy's friend asked him if it was “because I'm black?”.

Mr Vasta said the complainant gave the pair the first number in his mobile phone and when they got to Wulkuraka station Sandy said it was time to get off the train.

Sandy's friend then said, “I've got a knife, okay” and Sandy threw a newspaper in Mr Burton's face as he grabbed the man's laptop.

The pair tried to leave but the door would not open.

Mr Burton asked them for his laptop back but Sandy's friend refused, asking for the man's phone.

When Mr Burton refused Sandy's friend snapped the phone in half, saying “That wouldn't have happened if you'd given me the phone, give it to me now.”

A security guard walked toward the men but left when the robbers told him everything was alright.

The pair held up a wine bladder and told Mr Burton to drink it before asking for his wallet, and running away from the train at the next station.

Sandy pleaded guilty to armed robbery in company.

Mr Vasta said deterrence was important in sentencing so people felt safe using public transport.

Defence barrister Peter Sloane said Sandy was remorseful and realised the stupidity of his actions.

“On this night in question he got on at Ipswich with his friend, his intention was to get off at Wulkuraka,” he said.

“He was quite drunk at the time... and has little recollection of what happened.”

Mr Sloane said Sandy did not initiate the contact with Mr Burton that night but admitted he was the one who grabbed the computer.

Judge Deborah Richards said that she accepted Sandy's friend was the person who was initiating most of the criminal behaviour.

Judge Richards took into account 101 days already spent in custody in sentencing Sandy to 18 months jail, to be released on parole immediately.



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