Jesse James Clarke, 24, walks from the Gympie District Court this week after being sentenced for robbery with personal violence.
Jesse James Clarke, 24, walks from the Gympie District Court this week after being sentenced for robbery with personal violence.

Robber’s cowardly ploy to steal motorbike, samurai sword

A GYMPIE man who tricked his "wary" victim into disarming himself of a samurai sword before punching him and robbing him could be out of jail as soon as early next month.

The Gympie District Court heard this week that Jesse James Clarke, 24, was allowed into the victim's Southside home on or about July 4 last year, where he sat at the dining table and pointed to a motorcycle in the living room, telling the victim he was going to take it.

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The victim clutched the samurai sword because he was "wary of the circumstances", the court heard.

Jesse James Clarke, 24, walks from the Gympie District Court this week after being sentenced for robbery with personal violence.
Jesse James Clarke, 24, walks from the Gympie District Court this week after being sentenced for robbery with personal violence.

The pair argued until Clarke asked the victim how much he wanted for the bike, and he was told $500.

Clarke left the house and returned a few minutes later with "a sum of money" placing it on a counter in what Judge Gary Long described as a "ruse".

The victim went to count the money and let go of the sword after which Clarke punched him on the right side of his mouth, drawing blood.

Clarke and an accomplice then made off with the motorbike, the sword and the victim's phone.

The victim went to Gympie Hospital on July 5, where he received two stitches for the lacerated lip.

Clarke pleaded guilty to one count each of robbery in company with personal violence and breaching of a suspended sentence imposed in court on November 15 last year.

Judge Long noted Clarke's drug issues "may well be the underlying issue in relation to (his) offending", referencing an 18-month sentence with immediate parole in the court for drug related offences "in the main" in August 2017.

Judge Long said Clarke's sentence needed to "denounce" his offending without losing sight of his prospects for rehabilitation, also noting he had served 223 days in pre-sentence custody for the two offences before the court.

Clarke was sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment with a parole eligibility date set for December 6.

Gympie Times

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