ONE man has been ordered to perform community service, while another has been jailed for stealing an esky full of alcohol from Year 12 revelers.
Timothy Horace James Slater and Joshua Moore approached the car full of Year 12 students on Kable Ave in Tamworth late on September 18.
An altercation with the students, who were out enjoying end-of-year celebrations, ensued.
Slater’s solicitor, Fiona Hadlington, said her client had thought the boys in the car were yelling out racist remarks, but there was no suggestion the alcohol wasn’t taken.
“Given that one of the victims was assaulted ... it was done under some kind of duress,” she told Tamworth Local Court.
“The alcohol was given to them ... but was it done under a free and voluntary basis? No.”
Both men pleaded guilty to one count of stealing from a person, after a charge of robbery in company was dropped.
Crown prosecutor Mark Ferguson said there was no evidence of racism.
“End of Year 12 carrying on, some yelling from the car, but no suggestion of racist remarks towards the offender,” he said.
The court heard the two men went around to the back of the car and took an esky laden with alcohol – estimated to be worth about $80 – before fleeing.
Magistrate Roger Prowse said “that sort of behaviour in a street ... is not to be treated lightly”.
He said Slater “acted stupidly” and with “no justification whatsoever” and ordered he perform 75 hours of community service.
Moore’s solicitor, Matt Kwan, argued his client was “not the sort who engages in any violent acts”.
“His participation solely extends to the taking of the esky cooler,” he said.
Moore, who was on parole at the time, was returned to custody to serve out an existing sentence that expired earlier this year.
Supported in court by a large contingent of family members, Magistrate Prowse backdated Moore’s sentence, meaning he was eligible for release last week.
A third co-accused remains before the court.