Berkeley accused denies being part of San Churro robbery team

A Berkeley man who claims he played no part in the armed robbery of two cafe owners outside their Haywards Bay home last June will learn his fate later this month.

Guy Shareef stands accused of helping a group of friends plan and carry out the stealing of cash and goods from the owners of Wollongong's San Churro Chocolate Cafe in the early hours of June 2.

Campbelltown District Court heard the group of men followed the victims home in a stolen car before threatening them with a mallet and stealing laptops, a handbag and an iPad.

Shareef pleaded not guilty to robbery charges relating to each victim and faced a short trial in Campbelltown on Thursday, where Judge Paul Conlon reserved a decision until September 19.

The main witness called to give evidence was Natasha Kirkland, a former San Churro employee who fed information to the group, which included her then-boyfriend Rhian Kinloch, Brandon Gee, Kevin Santos, and allegedly Shareef, about the business.

Ms Kirkland, who had begun working at San Churro a few months earlier, told the court she first discussed the cafe with Kinloch, Shareef and Gee a few weeks before the robbery, telling them how much money it was making, and that the day's takings were taken home by the owners each evening.

However, she said the plan to steal the money was not hatched until the evening of June 1, a few hours before the robbery.

Ms Kirkland said she, Kinloch and Shareef were at her Figtree home when the plan was formed.

"It was supposed to be a snatch and grab," she told the court, saying the plan had been for Kinloch, Shareef, Gee and Santos to grab the bag containing the day's takings from the owners as they returned to their car after the business had closed. Ms Kirkland said she supplied the group with a description of the car, where it was normally parked and what route the victims took walking to it at night.

She said she drove the four men into the Wollongong CBD and dropped Kinloch, Gee and Santos off in an unknown street, so they could steal a car.

Meantime, she parked on an unknown street, later identified as Atchison Street, near a block of units and waited with Shareef.

She said Shareef exited the car and headed towards Globe Lane a short time later, after having a conversation with Kinloch via her mobile phone.

"I waited in the car park for 10 minutes before I got a message from Rhian telling me to go home," she said.

"He said they were following [the victims] and heading through Dapto."

Ms Kirkland said she didn't see the group again until later that night when she drove to Gee's house at Berkeley.

She said she saw Kinloch, Gee, Santos and Shareef get out of the stolen car, with Kinloch in possession of a laptop and iPad.

She denied suggestions by Shareef's lawyer, Leah Rowan, during cross-examination that he had not been with the group at all that night and that the conversation she said occurred between Shareef and Kinloch on her phone, a recording of which was played to the court, was not Shareef's voice at all.

The defence did not present an opposing case. However, in closing submissions, Ms Rowan said there was no evidence presented to the court putting Shareef at the scene of the robbery.

The Crown argued if the court wasn't satisfied Shareef had carried out the actual robbery, then it could be satisfied he had been part of the planning of it and therefore he was responsible for the crime in principle.

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