A MAN present at a foiled attempt to steal cannabis plants from the property of an elderly couple has pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated armed robbery.
Ulverstone’s Robin John Jago appeared before Chief Justice Ewan Crawford in the Supreme Court in Burnie yesterday.
On April 4 last year, Jago, the principle offender Zachary Swan and three others were drinking at a property at Ulverstone when they decided to drive to the home of Thomas and Beverley Chapman in Burnie, the court was told.
The plan was to steal cannabis plants that the group knew were on the property, Crown Prosecutor Stephen Karpeles said.
Mr Karpeles told the jury it might surprise some of them to hear the law said people could own cannabis plants.
Upon arrival Jago, along with Swan and one other, left the vehicle, hopping a neighbour’s fence and into the backyard of the Chapmans’ residence, Mr Karpeles said.
Swan was armed with a tomahawk, and upon entering the property Jago armed himself with a wooden pole, the court heard.
When the trio were disturbed by Thomas Chapman, Swan demanded repayment of debt he claimed was owed to him by Mr Chapman’s son, before then telling him to open the shed which contained cannabis plants.
Police arrived, after a neighbour noticed the men and called the police.
They captured Swan but Jago and the other man scattered.
The real issue was what Jago believed was going to happen when he entered the backyard, was he intending to “encourage and assist” the crime being committed, Mr Karpeles said.
Jago has said he was there for a lawful purpose, to collect a debt from the house, the court was told.
“You can judge a man’s intention not only by what he says, but also by his actions,” Mr Karpeles said.
Defence counsel Greg Richardson suggested when and why Jago and the other man armed themselves would be an issue.
The trial continues.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.