‘SAD THING’: Teen robbed disabled man after welfare cut off
A COURT has heard how a teenager took advantage of a disabled man after being cut off by centrelink and struggling with a drug problem.
Chad Rachow, 19, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court to one count of armed robbery while pretending to be armed with a knife.
The court heard the victim, a 30-year-old man with disabilities, travelled to Bundaberg and agreed to meet a woman he had been chatting to online.
The pair met at a shopping centre on December 1 last year and Rachow arrived with the woman.
They walked to a creek before Rachow approached the victim and asked for his money.
The victim walked away because he didn't believe Rachow was serious.
Rachow then moved in front of the victim telling him he had three seconds to empty his pockets or a knife would be put into his back.
The victim emptied his pockets which contained his phone and a tobacco pouch.
Rachow took the tobacco pouch and left with the victim then calling police.
Crown prosecutor Carla Ahern told the court Rachow was found by police a few days later where he made admissions.
Ms Ahern said while Rachow had threatened a vulnerable person, his limited criminal history and his plea of guilty were in his favour.
Rachow's barrister Callan Cassidy described the offending as opportunistic and that Rachow showed genuine and immediate remorse for his actions.
He said after his client was shown the victim impact statement he felt disappointed in himself and saddened.
Mr Cassidy told the court his client accepted he had a drug problem at the time and was no longer using.
He said Rachow was exposed to his stepfather using domestic violence against his mother.
He said there was also no actual weapon involved in the offence.
The court heard around the time of the incident Rachow had been cut off from Centrelink and had no money.
Judge Dennis Lynch took into account Rachow's plea of guilty and accepted it showed evidence of his co-operation and remorse.
He also took into account the impacts the incident had on the victim.
"This has had a big impact on him and how he can live his life," he said.
"He's become more fearful and distrustful of others, he's stopped communicating with people and is more isolated and stays at home rather than going out.
"All of that is a very sad thing to think that your selfishness, acting on a spur-of-the-moment as you did, had that impact on someone else and how they can live their life.
"He's someone who suffers from some significant disabilities and you've made his life a whole lot harder."
Judge Lynch said while the offending might have been at the lower end of the scale and no physical violence was involved, the act still caused the victim significant difficulty in the future.
He also took into account Rachow was still young and that he still had genuine prospects of rehabilitation.
Rachow was ordered to complete two years of probation and a conviction was not recorded.