16 June 2022

Teen accused of axe-wielding robbery says jail is 'not the greatest place'

| Albert McKnight
ACT Courts

Corey Girvan, 19, has been refused bail in the ACT Magistrates Court. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A teenager accused of being involved in a southern Canberra crime spree, including robbing a taxi driver while wielding an axe, has failed in his attempt to be released from jail after complaining it was “not the greatest place”.

Corey Girvan, 19, represented himself in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (15 June) when he fought to be released on bail from the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).

“I don’t like being in here. It’s not the greatest place,” he said.

He said he recently started a full-time job in Queanbeyan and had been “cleaning [himself] up” after deciding to quit drugs three weeks ago.

“I was getting my life back on the line … trying to do good and sh-t,” he said.

“I was on crack really, really bad.

“I’ve been doing good. I’ve been staying away from the crowd that I was in.”

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However, while Magistrate Glenn Theakston noted Girvan would “obviously much prefer to be out rather than at the AMC” and it sounded like his life had been improving, he said bail would be refused.

He said the series of alleged offending in late May 2022 involved the use of weapons, threats of violence and additional alleged offenders.

Magistrate Theakston said there was “a real risk he may harm someone” if granted bail and adjourned the matter to 27 July.

But Girvan didn’t appear too dismayed to hear he was being remanded in custody.

“Cheers, see-ya,” he said before hanging up the phone.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges laid over these allegations, including aggravated robbery and burglary.

Court documents allege he was one of three men who entered a home in Banks and stole the occupant’s Ford Ranger XLT and wallet at about 1:30 am on 21 May 2022.

When the occupant discovered the items were stolen and called his bank to cancel his credit cards, he learned three unauthorised transactions had been made, including $76 on cigarettes in a Phillip service station and $7 at McDonald’s in Nicholls.

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Meanwhile, a taxi driver had been sleeping in his car at the Phillip district playing fields at about 3:45 am when the Ford Ranger allegedly pulled up beside him and a knife-wielding man inside it demanded he open the door and smashed one of the taxi’s windows.

The driver drove off but was allegedly chased by the Ranger, so he fled to Woden Police Station.

At about 4:00 am, a man was returning home from work and parked his car in a car park at Weston when the Ford Ranger allegedly stopped near him, two men then got out carrying machetes and approached him.

The man drove onto the footpath to escape, but he was also allegedly chased by the Ranger through Weston and Curtin, travelling around 150 km/h, until he reached Phillip and also sought safety at Woden Police Station.

At about 4:30 am, three men in a white ute were carrying what appeared to be handguns and a knife when they robbed a man on a street in Duffy, stealing his phone and punching him in the head. Police allege Girvan was one of these men.

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Shortly afterwards, a taxi driver arrived at the same street to collect a passenger, but the Ford Ranger allegedly parked diagonally in front of him, stopping him from driving forwards.

Girvan allegedly got out, tried to open the taxi’s doors, used a small axe to smash the driver’s window and then took the car’s keys.

He allegedly demanded the driver get out and then drove off, followed by the Ranger.

Police later found a dashboard camera on the side of the road and allege its footage showed Girvan approaching the taxi driver with the weapon and saying, “Get out of the car c-t or I’ll smash you with an axe”.

NSW Police found the Ford Ranger being driven by another man in Wagga Wagga later that morning and arrested the driver. Girvan was arrested at home in Banks on 9 June.

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