70yo faces his attempted robber attacker as crim is jailed

A 70-YEAR-OLD attempted robbery victim sat in the back of the court while his young attacker was sent to prison for a prolonged assault which has left him with hyperviligance issues.

The victim, which The Morning Bulletin will only identify as Jack, sat in the front row of the gallery in Rockhampton District Court last month as Thomas James Laskey, 21, was ordered to three years prison for the attempted robbery in company of the Mount Morgan resident on August 26, 2019.


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Crown prosecutor Harriett Hall-Pearce said Laskey met the victim through a third-party who cannot be named for legal reasons.

She said the third-party knew the victim and had approached him at the pub, asking him if he thought some gems she had were real or not.

Ms Hall-Pearce said the third-party took Laskey to the victim's home later, about 9-9.30pm, where she asked the victim to look at some more gems she had.

She said Laskey, who had a T-shirt wrapped around his head asked the victim where his safe was, to which the victim replied he no longer had it after being robbed previously.

Laskey then punched the victim, causing him to fall to the ground.

While on the ground, Laskey asked the victim again about the safe while continuing to punch and kick him.

The victim sustained three fractured ribs on the left side, sore right ribs, bruising to an eye, lacerations to his face, abrasions on his knees, lumps on his back and remarks on his back and front torso.

Ms Hall-Pearce said Jack has long-term memory loss, dropped weight by 15 kgs and paranoid since the assault.

Judge Jeff Clarke said Laskey's actions created a climate of fear for the victim who is now constantly scared, fears taken his bins out at night in case he gets "jumped".

"Unfortunately robbery and attempted robbery seem to be very prevalent in our community," he said.

Judge Clarke said Laskey's actions were gutless, cowardly and shameless.

Defence barrister Tom Polley said his client, one of 11 siblings, had lived on his own since 13.

He said his mother had schizophrenia and his father was a violent drunk.

Mr Polley said Laskey had worked as a farmhand, cleaner, trades assistant and had been the sole carer of his baby before it died age 6.5 months from SIDS in 2018.

He said Laskey had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, reactive detachment disorder, ADHD, anxiety and depression.

Mr Polley said at the time of this offending, his client had just been released from the mental health unit after a two-month stay.

He said Laskey was also "coming down" from amphetamines and was intoxicated.

Mr Polley said his client was engaged with mental health and attended Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Services.

However, Judge Clarke had a hard time believing submissions put forward by a defendant and pointed to his four page criminal record which included dishonesty offences.

He asked if Mr Polley had any documentation to back up his submissions, to which Mr Polley replied no.

Ms Hall-Pearce said his criminal record included convictions for drugs, dishonesty, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and the attempted robbery was an escalation in his offending.

Laskey was subject to a suspended sentence at the time of the attempted burglary for failing to appear in court, failing to stop a motor vehicle and breaching probation.

Judge Clarke sentenced Laskey to three years prison, activated his suspended sentence of two months which was to be serve cumulative and set parole eligibility as of December 10 after declaring 275 days presentence custody.

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