Dee Why RSL gaming area. generic/ pokie machines/ gambling/ casino/ northern Beaches
Dee Why RSL gaming area. generic/ pokie machines/ gambling/ casino/ northern Beaches

Pokie winner’s jackpot turns into nightmare after robbery

A pokie machine win turned into a nightmare for a man who was attacked by a group as he walked home eating a pie.

Elijah Christopher Coburn, 24 was at the Kirwan Tavern on the night of August 16 with his brother and friend.

The Townsville District Court heard Coburn was playing the pokies when another patron of the hotel had a pokie win.

The court was told the lucky man left the tavern with his pokie win with his friend and bought a pie from the nearby BP petrol station.

As the pair were walking home on Thuringowa Drive, Coburn, his brother and friend pulled their car up alongside the two men, the court heard.

The man attempted to flee the three men but tripped and fell to the ground.

The court heard Coburn kicked the man before ripping his wallet in two and stealing the half containing the $900 pokie win.


The Crown prosecutor told the court police obtained CCTV footage from the Kirwan Tavern.

"On October 15, 2019, a search warrant was executed at the defendant's address and police located a black jumper with the word "legacy' written on it," he said.

"CCTV footage depicted the defendant wearing that same jumper prior to the offence."

Coburn pleaded guilty to robbery with actual violence armed in company.

Defence barrister Dane Marley said his client was a father to a six-month-old baby and said Coburn was "very disappointed" with the way he behaved.

"On the night of the offence he was gambling with friends and lost $50 in the pokies and they were leaving and one in the group brought up the idea to commit the robbery," he said.

"Every Monday Mr Coburn has to report (to police) he is reminded of these offences and it reminds him of the massive mistake he made."

Judge Gregory Lynham told Coburn his actions were "distressing", "abhorrent" and "terrifying".

"Going around and assaulting people you have never met before for the purpose of stealing money from them is not acceptable in any civilised community," he said.

"Every citizen in Townsville is entitled to feel safe when they walk the streets."

Judge Lynham declared the two days spent in pre-sentence custody as time served and sentenced Coburn to two and a half years' jail.

A parole release date was set at June 16 next year.

Originally published as Pokie winner's jackpot turns into nightmare after robbery