Threat of stabbing over a phone

A TEENAGER accused of threatening to ‘slit the throat’ of a Ballina man to steal his mobile phone has been refused bail over his attempted armed robbery.

Broby Martin’s partner burst into tears in the public gallery when Magistrate Michael Dakin refused the 19-year-old bail in the Lismore Local Court on Tuesday when he appeared in custody charged with robbery on April 1.

Prosecutor Sgt Peter Costin-Neilsen had opposed bail, saying the victim had been listening to music on his mobile phone while walking along Kerr Street.

About 9.20pm, Martin accosted the young man and demanded money.

Sgt Costin-Neilsen said the man refused and Martin took out a knife in an attempt to steal the young man’s mobile phone.

“He said ‘give me the phone or I’ll f.....g stab you’,” the prosecutor told the court.

“He (Martin) grabbed the victim’s earphones (from around his neck) and cut one of the earphones off with the knife.

“He said ‘I’m serious. I’m gunna shank you’.

While still holding the knife Martin grabbed and ripped the man’s shirt, saying ‘I’m not afraid to kill you for the phone’.

Martin, a small thin man wearing a white singlet, sat quietly in the dock as the police allegations against him continued.

The prosecutor said that when the man pleaded with his attacker saying ‘please man, don’t kill me’, Martin told him – ‘I’m not afraid to kill you for the phone. I swear to god I’m gunna slit ya throat’.

Residents from nearby houses came out on to Kerr Street and yelled at Martin, who rode off on his mountain bike.

Sgt Costin-Neilsen said Martin was on a suspended 18-month control order at the time.

After hearing the allegations and reading Martin’s previous criminal record, Mr Dakin said that while Martin was only 19 he already had an ‘unenviable record’.

Both the magistrate and the prosecutor commented that although police facts stated a weapon was used, the charge of robbery did not reflect that.

Taking into account the seriousness of the allegations and protection of the community, Mr Dakin said he would refuse bail and adjourned the matter to June 8.

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