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Robert John Tomlinson remains in custody facing vehicle theft and trespassing charges

A Rockingham man remains behind bars following charges of vehicle theft and trespassing at a local car yard.

Robert John Tomlinson, 36, appeared in Rockingham Magistrates Court via video link from Hakea Prison on Friday, July 15 charged with one count of escaping custody, trespassing and two counts of vehicle theft.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Mick Fallows told the court that on May 29, 2022, Tomlinson broke into a Rockingham car yard and drove away with a BMW.

It is then alleged that a driver along Russell Road saw headlights in bushland and stopped to see if anyone was in the vehicle.

They approached the vehicle and allegedly saw Tomlinson inside, having sustained some injuries and in some pain.

Other bystanders came to assist, dragging him to safety before the vehicle’s engine caught on fire.

Tomlinson then allegedly got up and ran into bushland, before running towards the victim’s vehicle and driving away from the scene.

The following day he was parked outside of a service station. At 1.41pm he started to have chest pains, which led staff to contact the police and was conveyed by Royal Flying Doctor Service to hospital for treatment.

On May 30, 2022, he was arrested and released on bail.

Tomlinson who represented himself, told the court he was going through mental health issues at the time of the incident and that he had made attempts to get help previously.

“I was suicidal at the time, I tried to take my life,” he said.

On June 27, 2022, he was again arrested after being in breach of his bail curfew.

It was alleged that Tomlinson was being cautioned at his home when he turned around and went back inside, locked the front door and left through another door to avoid police.

He was later arrested on July 11, 2022 and when questioned over the incident, explained that “I just flipped out, I don’t know what I was thinking”.

Tomlinson’s charges have been remanded until August 12, 2022 to allow time for a psychological report.

Lifeline 13 11 14

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