Woman thrown like 'a rag doll' in brutal attack
A DESPICABLE attack by teens high on ice left a woman suffering injuries when she was "thrown like a rag doll", and her head slammed into concrete.
The 25-year-old woman was in the car park of Riverlink Shopping Centre when she was violently assaulted in a bid to get her car keys and steal her Ford Mondeo.
The two offenders Jonathon William Graham, 19, from Leichhardt, and Saphfire Angel Erihe-Schaeffer, 18, from Raceview, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to attempted robbery with personal violence in company at North Ipswich on September 29 last year; and unlawful use of a motor vehicle (that car belonged to another victim in a separate incident).
Erihe-Schaeffer faced another 13 charges and Graham a lesser number. Their lesser charges included three counts of fraud and three counts of attempted fraud, some of the alleged offences occurring at Booval on September 29; two counts of enter premises and steal at North Booval and Booval on September 27; one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle on September 29 at Leichhardt; and attempted enter premises with intent to steal.
Graham appeared from jail via video-link, and Erihe-Schaeffer, who has been on bail after spending just 111 days in jail, delayed court proceedings by arriving late with her mother.
Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis sought further jail time for Erihe-Schaeffer. Graham had already spent seven months (228 days) held in jail on remand.
"She has only done three months in jail. She ought to be returned," he said.
Mr Wallis said an appropriate head-sentence for both was 2 ½ years jail with supervised parole release after they serve one-third.
He said Erihe-Schaeffer had a more unenviable criminal history than Graham including a previous offence of car stealing and failing to stop.
In March she was dealt with by an Ipswich court for 20 offences and granted bail on March 20.
Mr Wallis said a car (orange Ford ute) was stolen in Brassall between December 1 and December 4. It was unclear but Erihe-Schaeffer was seen in it.
The ute was driven erratically with the driver and passenger exchanging seats.
It was stopped after a police pursuit involving Polair surveillance and stingers flattened its tyres, the ute crashing.
Erihe-Schaeffer committed two evade police offences on November 28 and November 29, Mr Wallis saying her offending was "short but sharp".
"If she commits offences, joy riding with others, she is determined not to be apprehended," he said.
Mr Wallis said the attempted car stealing at The Terrace in Riverlink involved the woman being grabbed by Graham, his shirt covering his face and nose, with demands made for her car keys.
"She tried to get away. He threw her around like a rag doll. She struck her head on concrete bollard," Mr Wallis said.
The woman was screaming for help, he head wound bleeding profusely with blood running into her eyes obscuring her vision as she wrestled with Graham.
Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC was shown CCTV footage of the violence that erupted in the carpark against the defenceless woman - Mr Wallis saying "a good Samaritan" who heard the noise arrived.
The pair got her keys but were then unable to start her car and fled on foot.
The woman was admitted to hospital for her injuries. No victim impact statement was before the court.
"It was serious, brazen, gratuitous and horrific," Mr Wallis said.
Jack Kennedy the defence barrister for Graham, said mitigating drug factors ought to be taken into account with the offences done in the context of his excessive drug use using methylamphetamine (ice).
"He was consuming up to one gram a day, or 10 points as he would say," Mr Kennedy said.
Judge Hornemen-Wren queried as to why that should be considered a mitigating factor and not an aggravating feature of the crime.
"This offence appears to be an aberration. There is nothing to show he is prone to violence," Mr Kennedy said.
"He grabbed her. Threw her around and once he obtained the keys he ceased his conduct."
Queried by Judge Horneman-Wren, Mr Kennedy conceded the robbery would have been "quite terrifying" for the woman.
"I suspect she will be very nervous about going to shopping centres now," said Judge Horneman-Wren.
Mr Kennedy said Graham had a difficult childhood, the family abandoned by the father and finances tough, and been using drugs since aged 15.
He sought immediate parole release.
Judge Horneman-Wren said Mr Kennedy's written submission described Graham's Aboriginality and queried how this would be considered a mitigating factor but deprived backgrounds were always considered.
"His upbringing. Abject poverty, negative influences. He became homeless, itinerant," Mr Kennedy said.
The court heard there was nothing in the facts, the circumstances of the violence in the robbery that was relevant to his Aboriginality.
Defence barrister Cecelia Bernardin, for Erihe-Schaeffer, said she was still only 18 and methylamphetamine use along with unsavoury influences were behind her offending.
She was still struggling with her issues and made appointments with the Ted Noffs Foundation for help but her youth meant there were real prospects of rehabilitation.
"Her time in custody has been a wake-up for her," Ms Bernardin said.
Ms Bernardin sought that Erihe-Schaeffer not be sent back to jail but receive a suspended jail term and supervised probation order.
Judge Horneman-Wren noted that she was already under supervision for other offences until March 2022.
He said he saw graphically on the CCTV footage what took place with Graham first threatening the woman with a raised fist to get her keys.
When she attempted to escape Graham followed then threw her to the ground and her head hit a concrete bollard.
He agreed that the terrified woman was thrown around like a rag doll in the violent clash, and while the violence was brief it had been brutal. And her head wound required stitches.
"The two of you left her callously lying on the ground. Both were in the grips of methylamphetamine which brings absolutely no comfort to people attending supermarket car parks that they may be attacked this way, " Judge Horneman-Wren said.
"Absolutely no excuse for your conduct."
Graham was sentenced to concurrent jail terms of two years, and 12 months, - with parole on May 29 after he'd served one-third.
Erihe-Schaeffer was sentenced to 18-months jail - suspended for two years after she serve 111 days which she already had. And a concurrent jail term of 12 months for unlawful use. She is disqualified from driving for two years.