Guilty plea expected for robbery charge
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.