Duo robbed and assaulted refugee
A man and a woman have confessed to carrying out a "vicious, unprovoked" assault at Wollongong Railway Station last October that left a refugee in hospital.
Timothy Williams, 26, and Jaimee Lee Haynes, 28, both pleaded guilty in Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday to a charge of aggravated robbery with wounding, admitting they were behind the October 6 attack, in which the victim was punched multiple times before being robbed.
The refugee, who had been in Australia for only five days, required stitches in his left ear and lost a tooth in the ordeal.
Agreed facts tendered to the court said Haynes, in the company of Williams, had reported to Wollongong Police Station on an unrelated bail matter about 7.20pm, before the pair headed to the train station via Woolworths Liquor.
As they arrived at the railway overpass on Crown Street, CCTV footage captured the duo come to a halt near the pedestrian ramp, with police saying they appeared to be waiting for the victim, who was also walking towards the ramp.
Williams then signalled for the man to come to him, and when he did, asked him for money.
However, the victim, who speaks only a few words of English, did not understand him, the court heard.
Williams then pulled out money from his backpack, prompting the victim to hand over a few coins from his pocket. Meantime, Haynes, who had been standing near the ramp apparently acting as a lookout, moved towards Crown Street before turning around and nodding towards Williams.
Williams then removed his thongs before punching the man in the head, causing him to fall back.
"The victim had no chance to defend himself or take evasive action," police said in their statement to the court.
"The punch could only be described as a vicious, unprovoked king-hit."
The court heard Williams rifled through the man's pockets while he lay on the ground, before repeatedly punching him as he struggled to get up.
At one stage he grabbed him around the neck and threw him to the ground.
The victim eventually managed to get to his feet and ran down the ramp towards the train station. However, CCTV footage showed him twice falling over as he ran, in an apparent disoriented state, police said.
Williams and Haynes then left the area, taking with them the man's necklace, bracelet, sunglasses, headphones and $60 in cash.
The man returned to his accommodation, where a friend called emergency services, and he was taken to hospital.
Williams and Haynes were arrested the following day. They are to appear in Wollongong District Court for sentencing on March 7.