Pleading Guilty to a Robbery Charge

This is a case study on pleading guilty to a Robbery charge.

Our client had been accused of Robbery, Recklessly Causing Injury, and Possessing an Imitation Firearm. She and her co-accused were accused of organising to purchase two brand new mobile phones from Gumtree with the intention of stealing them. Our client waited in the car while the co-accused went to look at the phones.

What is alleged to have occured?
During the ‘sale’, the victim became worried that they may attempt to rob him. When the co-accused and victim got back to the car the situation was tense. The victim was leaning into the car and eventually a fight broke out as my client put the car into park (she was waiting with the car in drive and her foot on the brake). When the victim felt the car jolt as it was placed in park, he feared that they were about to drive off.

He then launched into the car and in response to that our client put the car into drive. The car moved down the street at approximately 25km/h with the victims knees being dragged along the ground. The car eventually crashed into a parked car and settled.

What happened at court?
We acted on the client’s behalf at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on the charge of Robbery. On this case, the client decided to plead guilty to robbery.

The co-accused pleaded guilty to Theft and Assault. He was convicted and placed on a Community Corrections Order. Our client was not charged until some months later.

After some initial case conferencing, the prosecutors were unwilling to drop the Robbery charge for our client even though it had happened for the co-accused and principal offender. It was our client’s first offence at 21 and she was desperate to avoid a conviction. We decided to explain to the magistrate what had happened to the co-accused and then asked the magistrate for a sentencing indication if she pleads guilty to the robbery charge.

What was the result?
Our client was ultimately sentenced to a good behaviour bond with no conviction being recorded.

Elements of Robbery:
  • The accused committed theft (stole something)
  • Immediately before or at the time of the theft, the accused either:
    • Used force on any person, or
    • Put any person in fear that the accused or another person would, then and there, be subject to the use of force, or
    • Sought to put any person in fear that s/he or another person would, then and there, be subject to the use of force.
  • The accused did so immediately before or at the time of stealing
  • The accused did so in order to commit a theft
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DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 12/04/2019