Teen Facebook Marketplace mugger sentenced

A teenage girl has been sentenced to 12 months detention after “hacking” a man’s head with a knife during a failed robbery orchestrated through Facebook.

The 15-year-old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, is one of two girls who pleaded guilty to their role in the theft and attack on a 43-year-old man in Perth’s northern suburbs.

The older girl was sentenced in Perth Children’s Court on Tuesday, and will be eligible for parole after having served half of her 12 month sentence, backdated to the incident 0n July 9.

On that day the older girl, posing as a different person, used Facebook Marketplace to tell the victim to deliver the iPhone 12 Pro Max he was selling for $750 to an address in Banksia Grove.

On arriving, the 15-year-old girl snatched the device from his hands and took off down the suburban street, followed by her 13-year-old accomplice, who is yet to be sentenced.

The man caught up to the girls, and they attacked him; the 15-year-old armed with a knife, and the 13-year-old with a gas strut (a rodlike device commonly used to hold car bonnets up).

During the scuffle the 15-year-old slashed the man three times to the head in a quick attack described by state prosecutor Brad Hollingsworth as “hacking away haphazardly.”

The victim was taken to Joondalup Health Campus where his wounds required more than 10 staples and stitches, and have left him with scars on his head “that are sensitive to the touch,” according to his victim impact statement.

The girl’s defence lawyer Mel Sanders argued her client’s sentence should be mitigated due to abandonment by her mother as a child, and trauma stemming from being reunited with her only to witness domestic violence at the hands of her mother’s partners.

In sentencing, Judge Wendy Hughes said the girls “had an opportunity retreat” but didn’t take it, and that “it is only by the grace of God that the victim wasn’t injured more seriously.”

Judge Hughes said the offence was too serious to consider suspending any portion of the sentence, but did allow an eight month sentence for an aggravated burglary charge to be served concurrently with aggravated assault.

She also acknowledged the girl’s early guilty plea.

The girl had no family in court, but her boyfriend’s mother was in attendance for support, the pair becoming emotional as the girl was lead from the courtroom.

The woman then left angrily, slamming the courtroom door and could be heard saying it was a “f***in’ joke.”

The 13-year-old co-accused was also due to be sentenced on Tuesday, but that sentencing has been pushed back to September 20 after an incident at a nearby cafe.

Shortly before court was due to commence, the girl, who is out on bail, got into some unknown conflict at the eatery, before returning to the courthouse with blood on her, where she became emotional and began screaming.

She left soon after with family, Judge Hughes excusing her attendance on “reasonable grounds due to the assault.”

Originally published as Knife-wielding teen Facebook Marketplace iPhone mugger sentenced

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