A plea for help, then a bottle over head

AN American tourist was lured from his car with a deceitful sympathy plea and then bashed by a Bellbridge man and a teenage accomplice in Albury last week, a court heard yesterday.

The tourist, 24, from California, had been in Albury just  hours when he was attacked.

He left Sydney on November 22 and arrived on the Border at 6pm, deciding to sleep in his car near the J. C. King netball courts on David Street.

He was woken by a man and a youth trying to get into his car about 4.45am next morning.

The youth then came up with a ruse that his grandmother was sick and they needed a lift. At first, the visitor declined to open his car  door, before getting out of it for a Good Samaritan act.

It was then he was set upon by Brendan Thomas and the youth, with a bottle smashed over his head, the court heard.

The tourist suffered cuts to the nose and shoulder in the attack, the court was told.

He ran, covered in blood, to a nearby house to seek assistance.

Thomas, 20, of Yonson Road, Bellbridge, appeared in Albury Local Court yesterday charged with aggravated robbery and inflicting actual bodily harm.

Police prosecutor Sgt Shannon Lewis opposed bail for him.

She said the attack had happened just three days after Thomas completed parole for another offence.

Police facts tendered to magistrate Tony Murray said investigators believed that the community needed to be protected from Thomas.

When interviewed about the unprovoked assault, Thomas had told officers the victim was unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The youth, 17, who has been charged with the same offence, made no application for bail and will reappear in Albury Children’s Court through a video-link next Monday.

Mr Murray said when refusing bail for Thomas that the Good Samaritan act had led to significant violence being perpetrated on the tourist.

An assortment of property with an estimated value of $1700, including a mobile phone, passport, guitar, camera, iPod, compass, pocket knife, back pack, an atlas, toiletries and books, were stolen from the car.

The victim later required 10 stitches to a wound on his nose which was broken.

He also received six stitches to his right shoulder and had bruises and grazes on his head.

Thomas will return to court on January 21 after the preparation of a police brief of evidence.

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