29 July 2021

Knifepoint robbery of Subaru WRX ends with teen's guilty plea

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Courts

The car was allegedly stolen at knifepoint from the Jamison Tennis Club in Macquarie. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A Macquarie man, still aged in his teens, has pleaded guilty to robbing a woman with a knife and stealing her blue Subaru WRX STI.

The exact details he pleaded guilty to are not yet known, but documents previously tendered to the court show the woman had gone to her car at about 5:30 pm on 24 May, which was parked at the Jamison Tennis Club in Macquarie.

Police said as she went to enter the driver’s seat, Robert Malcolm McColl, 18, approached her and stood so close their bodies touched.

“Give me your keys,” he allegedly said.

The woman took a step back, but he allegedly grabbed her hand and pointed a knife towards her stomach.

“I’ll f–k you up,” he allegedly told her, then he grabbed her keys, got in her WRX and drove away.

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Police appealed to the public for information and, with the community’s help, they found the car in Belconnen the next day.

McColl, who is from Macquarie, applied for bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on 26 May after he was arrested early that morning.

His lawyer, Mr Rutzou from Legal Aid, said McColl had up to five mental health diagnoses, including ADHD and depression, but did not use alcohol or drugs.

He said the young man was currently unemployed but used to work in Woolworths and Domino’s.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker ultimately refused bail, saying the charges were very serious and she had “no doubt” they traumatised the victim.

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Also, she said there was “little explanation on the face of it for the offending behaviour”.

McColl, who has been held in custody, appeared again in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (28 July). He pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery and driving a motor vehicle without consent.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston committed him to the Supreme Court for sentence.

He will first appear in the higher court on 5 August.

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