A Warrawong man is denying claims he took a woman's car against her will then robbed a man of his backpack at knife point, claiming the prosecution's star witness is a drink-driving, drug-abusing criminal whose story simply "doesn't add up".
Jonathan Troy Whitfield is facing charges of assault with intent to take a motor vehicle and robbery in company over the incident, which is said to have taken place over a 24-hour period earlier this week.
Police will allege Whitfield contacted an associate, Krystal Powlay, at midday on Monday asking her to drive him from Avondale to Dapto.
She agreed, however the pair got into an argument during the drive, and Whitfield allegedly punched her in the face.
She claims he then took her keys and commandeered her vehicle against her will, driving to various suburbs before ending up at a home in West Wollongong, where he, Ms Powlay and two others used drugs for several hours.
It is alleged Whitfield and a male armed themselves with a hammer and a knife before the group of four got into Ms Powlay's car and drove to Koonawarra in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
They allegedly stopped a pushbike rider on Fowlers Road and held him up at knifepoint, making off with a backpack containing a phone, debit card and cigarettes.
The court heard Ms Powlay contacted police on Wednesday morning seeking help to recover her car and gave them the above version of events.
Whitfield was arrested on Thursday, however denied Ms Powlay's allegations.
He told officers he'd taken the keys to her car on Monday because she was too drunk to drive and he feared they would crash if she continued driving.
He initially denied having any further contact with the car, but admitted he'd been driving it in the early hours of Tuesday after being shown CCTV footage of him behind the wheel of the vehicle at a service station in Cringila.
He also denied any involvement in the robbery, allegedly telling police he knew who the culprit was, but refused to divulge any information because he didn't want to be seen as a "dog".
Whitfield was remanded in custody following his arrest and faced court yesterday where he sought release on bail.
Defence lawyer Jordan Mechan said Ms Powlay was a "known" offender in the Illawarra, who admitted to partaking in prolonged drug use before the robbery.
"She was affected by drugs at the time so her memory could well be affected," he said.
"Mr Whitfield also knows Ms Powlay has been released from jail recently for like offending.
"Her story doesn't add up."
Mr Mechan said Whitfield intended to fight the allegations and would face a lengthy period of time behind bars awaiting trial if he was refused bail.
He also said Whitfield's partner was pregnant and he needed to be at liberty to support her.
"If he's bail refused, he'll miss the birth of his first child," he said.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Ben Bragger opposed Whitfield's bail, noting the seriousness of the allegations and his lengthy criminal history.
He said just because Ms Powlay was a drug user and had a prior criminal history did not make her an unreliable witness.
He also noted the police would rely on the evidence of the victim of the robbery when it came to proving their case.
Magistrate Greg Elks refused the bail application.
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