SHOPPING INTERUPPTED: Crowds of people waiting outside Stockland following the bomb threat.
SHOPPING INTERUPPTED: Crowds of people waiting outside Stockland following the bomb threat. Contributed

Teenager applies for bail after being accused of a bomb hoax

A TEENAGER faced court today after being charged with allegedly stealing thongs from Kmart after a bomb hoax forced staff and shoppers to evacuate from Stockland yesterday afternoon.

Norris Frederick Jerome Blair applied for bail in Rockhampton Magistrates Court, charged with one count of committing a bomb hoax, breach of bail conditions and stealing.

Around 3pm police received a Triple Zero call from an unknown person who claimed a bomb had been placed in JB Hi-Fi.

Stockland was evacuated, and police conducted a thorough search of the complex, which revealed that no explosive device was in the store.

After clearing the area of any danger, police traced the anonymous phone call to a public phone within the centre.

CCTV footage identified an 18-year-old person who they believed was responsible.

After reviewing the footage further, it was revealed the man had entered Kmart and stolen around $15 worth of items, allegedly underwear, T-shirt and 'slip on thongs'.

The lawyer for the defence said the defendant was in a show cause position and the prosecution's case relied on CCTV footage.

"The CCTV footage shows the defendant going into Kmart before the hoax and then exiting afterward,” they said.

"He was also alleged to have been near a pay phone and they say his fingerprints were on the pay phone. The objection to the crown is there were many fingerprints found on the pay phone.

"It would also be interesting to see if he has walked into Kmart before and left afterwards. Was he in Kmart for the duration or not?

"My submission for the case of the bomb hoax is it is circumstantial.”

However, they said the case for the stealing from Kmart was strong.

"He was found with items stolen from Kmart, with CCTV footage of him committing the offence,” they said.

The court heard he was already on bail at the time of the fresh charges and there was a breach of bail to his curfew condition.

It was suggested a condition be put in place prohibiting the defendant from attending Stockland shopping centre.

Magistrate Cameron Press said the defendant was originally granted bail on March 8 to the offences entering dwelling, wilful damage and attempted entering premises with intent. His bail was subjected to conditions, including a curfew.

Mr Press said on April 10, an application was brought before the court to revoke that bail, the application was refused. He pleaded guilty to two breach of bail conditions and was fined.

He said the defendant was back again on May 15, convicted for breaching two bail conditions he was again fined.

It was revealed he had a history of breaching bail.

"This defendant has been given opportunities to demonstrate to the court that the risk he possesses of committing further offences could be managed by conditions,” Mr Press said.

"He has a history now of breaching bail conditions and I cannot conclude he would now start complying with conditions.

"He possesses an unacceptable risk of committing further offences and under the circumstances I find he fails to show cause and the defendant will now be remanded in custody.

"I am satisfied his bail should be revoked as there is strong evidence he is not compliant with bail conditions. The application to revoke bail is allowed.”

The defendant was remanded in custody to appear on August 7.

A brief of evidence was ordered for the bomb hoax and stealing charges.