Guilty plea ex­pected for rob­bery charge

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Kate Field­ing

THE lawyer of an Aus­tralind man ac­cused of car­ry­ing out a planned rob­bery on a Har­vey car re­pair store has in­di­cated his client will en­ter a fast-track plea of guilty.

Ben­jamin James Rowe, 34, ap­peared in Bun­bury Mag­is­trates Court on Au­gust 10 when duty lawyer Michael Jou­bert was told his client’s in­tended plea of guilty would have to be taken in the Supreme Court.

Wear­ing a hooded jumper and mask, Rowe al­legedly wielded a ma­chete as he stormed Gar­ri­gan Smash Re­pairs on July 19.

Dur­ing a bail ap­pli­ca­tion foll- ow­ing his ar­rest last month, the court was told Rowe had called the re­pair shop pre­tend­ing to need a tow truck.

Af­ter the truck was despatched, Rowe is al­leged to have dis­guised him­self and while armed with a ma­chete and wear­ing gloves en­tered the store’s of­fice.

The court was told two staff mem­bers ap­proached Rowe be­fore he al­legedly pointed the ma­chete to­wards them and said “stay where you are”.

Rowe is al­leged to have fled the store with $2250 in cash, a wal­let and cam­era.

The get­away car had been fixed with false num­ber plates and at some point af­ter flee­ing the scene, the car’s plates were changed again, the court was told.

Rowe was ar­rested at a Bun­bury car wash a short time later.

Ap­pear­ing via video link from Bun­bury Re­gional Prison on Thurs­day, Rowe faced one count of ag­gra­vated armed rob­bery.

Mag­is­trate Mark Millington told Mr Jou­bert he did not need to take Rowe’s fast-track plea of guilty on Thurs­day and it would be more ap­pro­pri­ate for the Stir­ling Gar­dens mag­is­trate to hear it.

Rowe was re­manded in cus­tody to ap­pear in Stir­ling Gar­dens Mag­is­trates Court.

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