News

She hid in car while he 'smashed pokie winner's face'

Chrystal Maree Cahill, 31, was jailed for her role in a violent armed robbery.
Chrystal Maree Cahill, 31, was jailed for her role in a violent armed robbery.

A MAN and woman behind the violent robbery of a cashed-up Toowoomba pub patron have been jailed for five and three years respectively.

Leighton Maurice Houkamau, 42, and Chrystal Maree Cahill, 31, had gone to the Southern Hotel in Ruthven St on the night of November 24 last year where the 34-year-old male complainant was playing the poker machines.

The complainant had arrived at the pub with $320 cash in his wallet and within a couple of hours had picked up two cash winnings from the pokies in the amounts of $400 and $105, Toowoomba District Court heard.

A short time later, Houkamau approached the man complaining he was short of money and asked the man for a loan, and was handed $20, Crown prosecutor Shontelle Petrie told the court.

A little later, both accused approached the man complaining they had no money for petrol and the complainant handed over a further $15.

Later, when Houkamau approached the man again complaining of having no money for fuel, the complainant told him he'd give him $20 to drive him home.

About 8.30pm, the two men went to Houkamau's car and got in the front seat while Cahill was hiding, lying across the back seat, Ms Petrie said.

After stopping at a nearby service station to put $20 fuel in the car, Houkamau drove the man to his Kearneys Spring home but when the man went to get out of the car, Houkamau had grabbed his arm saying, "Give me all your money or I'll smash your face in".

A struggle in the front seat ensued between the two men during which Houkamau punched the man three or four times to the face before Cahill alighted from the back seat and joined the scuffle.

The complainant managed to get out of the car but was tackled to the ground where he was further punched and kicked, the court heard.

As he lay on the ground, the man felt hands reaching into his pockets and taking his wallet before the couple ran back to their car and sped away.

Ms Petrie said the victim called 000 and was taken to Toowoomba Hospital where he was found to have a fractured jaw for which he later underwent surgery.

Police eventually tracked down Houkamau at the Warwick Centrelink office in December and Cahill at Richlands Courthouse that same month. Both had remained in custody since.

Both accused pleaded guilty to robbery in company with violence while Houkamau also pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

Judge Craig Chowdhury sentenced Houkamau to five years in jail but ordered he be eligible to apply for release on parole as of July 21 next year.

Cahill, who had 260 days pre-sentence custody declared as time already served under the sentence, was sentenced to three years in jail to be released on parole on October 21.
 

Topics:  assault, southern hotel, theft, toowoomba



PHOTOS: Morgan Park packed with racers

Chris Lamberth made the trip to Morgan Park from Toowoomba.

THERE'S little doubt Warwick is becoming a hub for motorsport action

Teenager taken to hospital after motorbike crash

Emergency crews have just left Warwick.

UPDATE: The teenager came off his motorbike this morning.

5 places hiring in Warwick right now

GET HUNTING: Nab your dream job today.

Nab your dream job today.

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Gruen star discovers the body's limits in new hit TV show

Todd Sampson tries out MMA fighting during TV series BodyHack.

Gruen star pushes the limits in new TV series

Deftones return to Australia with string of dates

Deftones are back in town. Photo Contributed

World renowned nu-metal pioneers return

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state