Boy, 13, to fight Newmarket Store robbery charges

A BOY remanded in custody since February yesterday pleaded not guilty over his alleged involvement in an armed robbery at the Newmarket Store in Albury.

The Corowa boy, 13, appeared at Albury Local Court through a video link from the Reiby juvenile detention centre in Sydney.

His solicitor, Rob Hussey, said a hearing date was needed for charges of stealing from a person, two counts of robbery armed with an offensive weapon and assaulting a police officer.

Magistrate Tony Murray was told there are 12 prosecution witnesses in the case and just one for the defence.

Mr Murray has listed the matter for June 6 when it will have priority because the boy is on remand.

Mr Hussey entered a guilty plea on a charge against the boy of having a knife in a public place from a separate incident, with a $50 fine imposed.

Police facts tendered during the boy’s bail application on February 25 said he stole a woman’s handbag from the Harvey Norman Centre on February 22.

The boy told an accomplice, 15, he was going to snatch a woman’s bag.

The victim, 72, was standing in the car park holding her bag and a walking stick when the boy said “hello”, grabbed the bag and ran off.

He found a mobile phone and purse inside then took a $50 note for himself.

He gave his offsider a $2 coin.

They met later near the Newmarket Store and the boy went inside and jumped the counter holding a knife.

Two women staff, aged 61 and 60, were cleaning and balancing the registers before closing.

Two tills were opened after the boy brandished the knife at one worker and the other woman opened a lottery till.

Grabbing a handful of cash and some cigarette packets, the boy left saying: “Call the cops and I’ll kill you”.

His accomplice was given $300 and four packets of cigarettes with both boys escaping via a drain as they heard app-roaching police sirens.

Police opposed bail for the boy, citing community protection as the primary reason.