Pair used fake gun in robbery, court told

TWO men who allegedly used an imitation firearm to rob a man of his iPhone on Sunday morning have fronted court.

Tai Sharp, 20, was released on bail from Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday while Jake David Wakelin, 19, will make an application for bail on Thursday.

Both men are facing nine charges each, including armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, theft and four ccharges of making a threat to kill.

According to charge sheets obtained by The Courier, the pair on Sunday robbed a male of his $600 phone by using a fake gun.

On the same day they attempted to commit another armed robbery, and threatened to kill three males and one female, the charge sheets show.

Police allege that Sharp and Wakelin broke into a Ballarat house around the same time, stealing property valued at $5000 including a Macbook Pro laptop, a Sony television and jewellery.

The pair are also alleged to have attempted to break into a residential premises in Wendouree the same day.

Sharp appeared first in the dock yesterday, where his lawyer Jeremy Harper made a bail application unopposed by police.

Mr Harper said his client had only just returned to Ballarat three or four days before the alleged offending took place.

“Obviously something serious has happened late on Saturday night or early Sunday morning,” he said.

Mr Harper said he had limited knowledge of the allegations facing his client, but that he understood Sharp was accused of using a “plastic lighter gun” to carry out a robbery.

The court heard Sharp was just over halfway through a two-year community based order when the alleged offending occurred —  an order which included provisions to take part in programs to reduce re-offending.

“He’s had a fractured, troubled and very difficult childhood and background,” Mr Harper said.

The father-of-two was released on strict bail conditions including twice weekly reporting to police and a nightly curfew.

Magistrate John Lesser warned Sharp to behave.

“It sounds to me like there’s a lot at stake from your family point of view,” he said.

Sharp is due to appear back in court for a committal mention on February 14.

Meanwhile, Wakelin appeared briefly in court, where he was supported by his grandmother.

Wakelin’s lawyer Natalie Heynes requested an adjournment to November 15 for a bail application.