An aspiring youth worker who narrowly avoided jail time in October over his role in a robbery has fronted court on fresh break and enter charges, amid allegations he tried to steal money from the Wash 'n Shine car wash at Unanderra.
Police will allege a worker at the Princes Highway business caught Konrad Machala trying to pry open the cash machine inside a store room just after after 9.30am on November 15.
The worker immediately grabbed Machala in a headlock. Machala allegedly twice threatened to stab the man as the dup wrestled with each other - Machala in a bid to escape and the victim hoping to detain Machala until police arrived.
Machala eventually broke free and fled the scene.
Police arrived a short time later and seized a beanie from inside the store room, which was later discovered to contain Machala's DNA.
He was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning and charged with break and enter and commit serious indictable offence.
However, when interviewed by police, Machala claimed he was the victim, telling officers he had been door knocking in the area and was looking for a toilet when he was "set upon" by the worker.
He denied threatening to stab the man, however said he may have stated he was going to "stick" the victim, which he told police was a boxing term he used.
In Wollongong Local Court on Friday, defence lawyer Anastasia Socorro sought bail on Machala's behalf, challenging the strength of the case against her client.
"He gave police a reasonable and believable explanation for why he was at the business at 9am," she said.
"He says he was assaulted and ran away."
The court heard Machala was studying at TAFE to be a youth worker and would agree to stay out of Unanderra if released on bail.
Police opposed Machala's application, saying the case was backed by DNA evidence.
"This is a serious matter - the victim is someone going about their business in the community when they are allegedly confronted by Machala," the prosecutor said.
"He was given an ICO in October and this offence occurs in mid-November."
Magistrate Robert Walker described Machala's criminal history as "medium sized" but noted he had serious matters on his record.
He labelled the prosecution case "pretty strong" and said a custodial sentence was likely if Machala was convicted of the offence.
Magistrate Walker refused bail prompting Machala to beg him to reconsider.
"I'm not a seasoned criminal," Machala said.
However, Magistrate Walker would not be moved and remanded Machala in custody until January 19.
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