Smartphone sparked Mangerton machete fight

Three men have been injured in a knife fight over a $1200 mobile phone that was allegedly sold for a pittance by a man “desperate” for money to spend on cannabis. 

Earlier this year, 18-year-old Steven William Firmin accepted just $80 for the phone, a Samsung Galaxy.

He has told police he believed he was owed more money. But the buyer, Jayden Thorton-Eddy, believed the transaction was complete. 

Police allege Firmin was attempting to regain the mobile by force on Saturday when he and two friends – brothers Benjamin and Nicholas Bilboe, confronted Thorton-Eddy at a home in Mangerton’s Myuna Way. 

Police allege the brothers armed themselves with a meat cleaver and a sheathed machete, respectively, before arriving at the home about 5pm. 

Police will allege Benjamin Bilboe led the demands, asking Thorton-Eddy to return the phone, before the brothers (also known by the surname Primorac) turned the confrontation physical. 

Police will also allege Nicholas Bilboe, 18, then unsheathed the tip of the machete and used it to stab Thorton-Eddy in the back of the head. 

As a result of the altercation, Benjamin Bilboe received a laceration to his lower back.

His brother received cuts to his hands and Thorton-Eddy received cuts and abrasions to the back of his head and shoulders. 

Police say the brothers ultimately fled the apartment, before Benjamin Bilboe dumped the meat cleaver on nearby Woodland Avenue. 

The brothers later sought treatment at Wollongong Hospital, claiming they had been randomly attacked on the street. 

The case came to police attention when Thorton-Eddy also presented at the hospital.

Firmin was arrested at his Mangerton home on Sunday afternoon and charged with aggravated enter dwelling with intent in company. 

He told police he left the confrontation when the conversation became heated.

He was subject to court orders at the time, on condition of good behaviour, and was refused bail in Wollongong Local Court on Monday. 

Magistrate Mark Douglass granted Nicholas Bilboe bail, noting his age and lack of criminal record. 

It is a condition of his bail that he not enter Mangerton. 

The case against Benjamin Bilboe was not mentioned in court on Monday. 

The matter returns to court on November 22.