Teen used phone as weapon to steal cash and smokes

A TEENAGER who stalked, bashed and robbed a former friend has avoided jail so he can continue his mental health rehabilitation.

Trae John Joseph Predo was 17 when he committed the offences against an 18-year-old friend last year.

Judge Robertson yesterday referred to Predo's harassment of his friend through a vast number of phone calls as "bizarre", noting some of the calls contained threats.

It was during the period of phone stalking when Predo arranged on March 12 last year to meet his friend at a park at Mooloolah about 9.30pm.

Maroochydore District Court heard Predo launched himself at his friend without warning, unleashing multiple punches which resulted in him losing consciousness and suffering a black eye.

Then on March 15 Predo pretended to be armed with a weapon when he held a mobile phone to his friend's throat before stealing his cigarettes, lighter and wallet.

Defence barrister Simon Lewis detailed a difficult upbringing, substance abuse from a young age and complex mental health issues as factors to be taken into account in sentencing.

"There needs to be a stick as well as the carrot of rehabilitation," Mr Lewis said.

Judge Robertson noted Predo's highly dysfunctional childhood and resulting post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said Predo's use of amphetamines had contributed to his anti-social behaviour.

Predo was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended immediately for three years and placed on a three-year probation order.


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