Woman guilty of armed robbery
A Denmark woman accused of arming herself with a large knife and robbing the Denmark Tavern on Boxing Day two years ago has been found guilty of armed robbery.
Rebekah May O’Neill, 37, stole $763 and three bottles of spirits while in disguise and threatened a female staff member before fleeing the store on December 26, 2017.
An Albany Supreme Court jury last week found her guilty of armed robbery following a three-day trial.
O’Neill had repeatedly denied committing the armed robbery, opting to testify and telling the jury she was at home throughout the day with her housemate.
Her housemate was also called as an alibi defence witness, saying O’Neill slept on couch throughout the afternoon.
But the jury discounted the evidence, believing O’Neill committed the robbery which lasted just 30 seconds.
While CCTV footage captured the act, the State prosecution case was based on circumstantial evidence to prove O’Neill was at the scene and armed herself before committing the crime.
State prosecutor Gary Huggins told the jury O’Neill had then dumped a disguise which included a long coat, brimmed hat, sunglasses and a white cloth over her face.
Four witnesses testified they saw O’Neill at her former home after committing the robbery.
In his closing address, defence lawyer Bruno Illari said the State’s attempts to prove his client had robbed the store had been unsuccessful and accused police of targeting O’Neill as the only suspect and not broadening their investigation.
O’Neill was remanded in custody to reappear in the WA Supreme Court for sentencing on June 24.
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