8 December 2023

Krystal Carr fails in her appeal over Cooma home invasion, carjackings near Goulburn

| Albert McKnight
Justice system.

Krystal Carr failed in her attempt to appeal the convictions she received over a crime spree with her partner. Photo: Sang Hyun Cho, Pixabay.

A woman who rampaged across NSW, including being part of a Cooma home invasion where a gun was fired as well as carjackings near Goulburn, has failed in her attempt to convince the courts that her partner forced her to join in.

Krystal May Carr was found guilty of seven charges over the 18-hour, 1000-km crime spree and late last year was sentenced to a total of four years’ jail with a non-parole period of one year and 10 months by the NSW District Court.

On 2 April 2021, the then-31-year-old from Dubbo was with her partner when he stole a Toyota Hilux ute from Molong, near Orange, before they drove it south to Cooma.

They met up with a friend the partner knew from jail and he took them to a property on Sharp Street where a couple lived with their three children, including a 12-year-old.

Carr knocked on the door and asked to see the man who lived there, but when he opened the door to let her in, the partner ran up behind her with his face covered by a bandana and armed with a shortened .22 calibre rifle.

“Give me all your drugs and money,” he yelled.

“What drugs and money?” the man said.

There was a struggle and the gun was fired. Meanwhile, Carr went inside, where the 12-year-old told her to “f-k off”.

She and her partner ran back to the ute, then drove north to Canberra. After stopping there, they were chased by police along the Hume Highway.

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Then at Marulan, a man was sitting in his Ford Territory with his wife and child when Carr and her partner walked towards them while the latter was carrying a gun.

He pointed the weapon at the wife and the pair yelled at the family to get out. The partner jumped in and drove off with Carr in the passenger seat.

But just 20 minutes later, he sped into a service station at Sutton Forest and smashed the car into a guardrail.

They jumped out, then carjacked a Ford Focus that had contained children.

Police chased them through Yerrinbool and Mount Annan, then arrested them on the night of 2 April after they had ditched the car in Paramatta and tried to run through the streets on foot.

After a judge-alone trial, Carr was convicted of charges that included assault with intent to rob while armed with a dangerous weapon, taking and driving a vehicle while armed with an offensive weapon and two counts of assault with intent to rob in company.

The trial had been mostly conducted with agreed facts, but Carr argued she had been acting under duress from her partner.

The now-34-year-old appealed her conviction, arguing the trial judge, Mark Williams SC, had erred when considering how a defence of duress could be available. The judge had concluded her claimed duress had not been established.

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Carr’s lawyers argued that when they were in Dubbo and her partner demanded she leave with him in a car just before the crime spree began, this set the tone for what occurred and, in the context of the coercive control relationship, was evidence of an implied demand.

However, the NSW Court of Appeal’s Justice David Davies rejected this submission. He said the evidence did not disclose a particular request or demand to carry out any of the acts.

Justice Davies said Judge Williams was correct in finding the prosecution had successfully negatived the duress defence.

On Friday (1 December), two of the three judges on the Court of Appeal, Justices Davies and Desmond Fagan, agreed the appeal should be dismissed.

The third judge, Justice Hament Dhanji SC, had disagreed with the others and would have ordered a retrial.

Carr’s partner had been Aiden Shane Osborne, who is now aged 35. In February, he was handed nine years’ jail with a non-parole period of five years, which means he can be released from April 2026.

He was sentenced on charges that included possessing a shortened firearm without authority, not stopping for a police pursuit, take/drive a vehicle with a person inside while armed with a weapon and assault with intent to rob in company.

However, the particular facts he was sentenced on were not immediately clear.

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