By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A Hampton Park man who used a Facebook buy-and-sell page to lure and violently rob unsuspecting victims has been praised in court for turning around his life.

Mabil Naghoy, 20, pleaded guilty to five robberies in which he and other males ambushed and stole two iPhones and $6220 cash from online buyers and sellers late last year.

Among his victims was a father – responding to a ‘Facebook Marketplace’ ad selling an iPhone X – met with Naghoy and was bashed in front of his three children on Boxing Day.

A 13-year-old girl tried in vain to protect her father during the attack.

The man’s primary school age sons, watching from the car were said to be “extremely traumatised” by the event, according to police.

After punching and kicking the man’s head, Naghoy grabbed $1200 cash from the car’s glovebox in front of the boys.

Naghoy and his associates set up ambush-meetings with victims in Hampton Park, Dandenong, Sunshine West and Melbourne CBD.

They either offered iPhones for sale or responded to sellers’ posts on Facebook online.

Naghoy committed the last three robberies – including the Boxing Day assault – while on bail.

He was on a community corrections order at the time.

After his arrest, Naghoy spent 40 days remanded in adult custody.

In February, he pleaded guilty at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court and was bailed to a deferred sentence.

During the regime over the past seven months, Naghoy was required to live at his parents’ home and to undergo Youth Justice supervision.

He was ordered to report to police three times a week, enrol in education, not associate with co-offenders and obey a night curfew.

On 10 September, defence lawyer Nick Power told Dandenong Magistrates’ Court that Naghoy had “certainly engaged well” with Youth Justice, as well as studying and working a job.

Magistrate Jack Vandersteen praised Naghoy’s “exceptional” performance since the spate of “serious” offending.

“You are somebody described (in a Youth Justice report) as polite, respectful and determined.

“You walk away from this process with your head held high.”

In February, Mr Vandersteen noted the “voluminous” “high-end” offending would have been “horrific” for each victim.

He said he had to balance the accused’s rehabilitation with protection of the community.

“The purpose of deferral is to have you engage.

“If you engage, if you go back to school, if you stay with your family, don’t commit any further offences, then … you will not return to custody.

“However if you commit a further offence and don’t comply with bail conditions, it’s likely that you will receive a custodial sentence.”

On 11 September, Naghoy was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order with conviction.

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