By Carl Peiffer
A 19-year-old Palmerston man with a cognitive reasoning ability of a child less than ten, who pulled a taxi driver out of his car and hurled its internal CCTV camera at him before hijacking his taxi, has avoided jail.
The NT Supreme Court heard Akeem Millar, then 18, found himself with no way to get home after being dropped off at a friend’s address in the Girraween area on September 11, 2019.
At about 2.30am, Millar was walking with another person known as PM along Pioneer Drive, near the intersection of Power Road, when the pair waved down a taxi.
The pair asked the driver to take them to Palmerston, stating they had no money on them but would be able to pay when they arrived to PM’s house there.
The driver declined the request and offered to call another taxi to their location, which caused Millar to reach inside the taxi through the window, unlock the door and open it.
He grabbed the victim, pulled him out of the taxi and threw him to the ground before ripping the taxi’s internal CCTV camera and hurling it at the driver.
Millar later crashed the taxi on Temple Terrace in Palmerston, where the pair fled and went their separate ways, with police eventually arresting Millar near a bus stop on Bonson Terrace.
Justice Jenny Blokland said the incident had left the driver scared to work at night again and more than $20,000 out of pocket as a result.
“Taking the taxi and then leaving the victim stranded was a very low act indeed,” she said.
“Throwing the camera at him was mean, and also showed a preparedness to attempt to cover up what had been done, albeit, not in a sophisticated way.”
The court heard Millar had been the care of Territory Families since age three and had the cognitive reasoning of a child under the age of 10.
He was also under the influence of cannabis and alcohol at the time of the incident.
Justice Blokland said while the offending was serious, the fact it was Millar’s first offence and he pled guilty helped his cause.
“This is an exceptional case, where this young offender with an intellectual disability should be given an opportunity to avoid the stigma and other damaging aspects of actually serving a prison term as a young disabled person,” she said.
She convicted and sentence Millar to 12 months jail, fully suspended.
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