THREE teenage girls have faced court following their arrests over the alleged robbery of two University of New England students in Armidale last weekend.
The teens were arrested in Armidale on Tuesday and Wednesday by New England police who had led an investigation into the crime.
It’s the second serious attack against students near the University of New England’s residential colleges in the past two months, but senior police say the attacks are not related, or common, and there is no threat to student safety.
It follows the sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman on July 22, who had been walking in the area before she was taken into nearby bushland by two men and sexually assaulted, suffering broken ribs as a result.
The most recent incident is alleged to have occurred early on the morning of Sunday, September 16, when the two female students, both 22 years old, were dropped off by a taxi to their residential college, Earle Page.
The college, along with three of the university’s other student accommodations in Meredith St, is about 1km south of the university’s main campus where security is located.
About 1.40am, the pair was allegedly approached by the three teens who assaulted then robbed them.
The students suffered scratches and bruises to their heads, faces and arms in the scuffle before their handbags were stolen.
New England Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Greig Stier said no weapons were produced by the alleged offenders during the robbery.
Just over a week after the incident, detectives arrested a 17-year-old girl at a Jones Ave home on Tuesday for her alleged involvement.
She was charged with two counts of robbery in company and will next appear in Armidale Children’s Court on Tuesday.
On Wednesday afternoon, the two other girls allegedly involved, a 17 and 16-year-old, were arrested at a Galloway St home.
They were each charged with two counts of robbery in company and were refused bail until their court appearance yesterday, where bail was granted.
Both teens are due to reappear on Thursday, November 8.
Detective Inspector Stier said the robbery was an isolated incident and such attacks were not common in Armidale, let alone in the grounds of the university.
He said the investigation into the sexual assault of the 19-year-old student in July was continuing and police were still seeking information from the public.