A man has been left fearing for his life after two men made him get into his hire car before he was threatened with a knife, stolen from and stranded in Appin, a court has heard.
Luke Ronald Murray, 40, is accused of detaining the man, not known to him, along with his co-accused Carl Lawrence in an "opportunistic attack".
Documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court on Monday said the alleged victim flew to Sydney from Griffith on December 20 before he planned to travel overseas the next day.
He booked a Budget hire car and travelled to Wollongong after organising to purchase a Samsung Galaxy Watch for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
An arrangement was made with the seller to meet at the Fairy Meadow McDonalds carpark.
Once the man met the seller at the carpark, he followed in his car to the seller's Mangerton home about 10.15pm.
The man paid $450 for the watch and while he was waiting for the seller to retrieve it, Murray and Lawrence allegedly approached the man and started talking to him.
They allegedly told the man they had a knife and threatened to stab him if he did not drive them down the road.
The pair allegedly directed the man to get into his hire car and they got in before they drove to Appin against the man's will. The men allegedly stopped the car in a secluded area and him to get out of the car before they drove off.
The men left the man with his travel bags and clothing but allegedly stole his two laptops, mobile phone, credit cards and $600 cash. They allegedly forced him to unlock his phone and give them access to his bank accounts before Murray transferred $900 into his own account.
The man was not physically harmed but feared he would be stabbed or injured if he did not comply with their demands.
About 12.46am, Murray and Lawrence were allegedly captured on CCTV cameras at Corrimal Hotel entering the carpark in the hire car.
They entered the pub and shortly after approach the ATM where Murray withdrew $850 cash from his account, the documents said.
Police alleged the men arrived at the hotel within 30 minutes of leaving the man at Appin.
Police found the hire car later that day on December 21 in Payne Street, Mangerton with a bag inside which allegedly matched the one Murray was wearing during the car ride and was captured on CCTV at Corrimal Hotel.
Police did not detail how or when the alleged victim sought help or reported the incident to police.
Murray was arrested over the weekend and charged with taking and detaining a person in company with intent to obtain advantage and aggravated robbery
In court on Monday, defence lawyer Caitlin Drabble said her client was an Indigenous man and was vulnerable in custody due to his mental illnesses of bipolar and schizophrenia, which would likely be exacerbated if remanded in custody, due to the COVID-19 restrictions placed on inmates.
Ms Drabble said the police case had issues due to the victim not positively identifying Murray, nor his DNA being recovered nor stolen property found on him.
She said he could live with his mother in Macquarie Fields and she could chaperone him.
Police prosecutor Sergeant David Weaver said Murray was no stranger to jail and its difficulties during COVID as he had an extensive criminal history and was released from prison in November last year.
Magistrate Greg Elks refused bail due to the strength of the prosecution case and noted Murray likely faced a full-time custodial sentence if convicted.
The case was adjourned to March 23.
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