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Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.


An 18-year-old man has been charged after a 17-year-old boy was left in critical condition, following a botched robbery of disposable vapes.

Aren Beniwal, 17, allegedly met four men aged between 18 and 20 late at night for the purposes of selling the e-cigarettes.

Police allege that the charged man, 18-year-old Thomas Hayward stole the quantity of e-cigarettes from the younger man whilst armed with a knife.

Vaping, and disposable e-cigarettes have recently become incredibly popular with teenagers and as an alternative to smoking cigarettes.

The Therapeutic Good Administration announced this month, that anyone wanting to import vapes from 1 October, 2021 will need a prescription from a GP.

Currently in NSW, there are already penalties for acquiring, using and/or possessing liquid nicotine unless it is prescribed by a doctor to help you quit or cut down smoking.

Schedule 7 of the Poisons Standard classifies Liquid nicotine as a ‘dangerous poison’.

If prescribed for therapeutic use, then it is considered a Schedule 4 product, in which case it can be used for personal use.

The maximum penalty is $1,100 for breaching this, according to section 20 of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008.

It is believed that after snatching the vapes without paying, the men jumped into the car they arrived in and allegedly hit Mr Beniwal as they sped off.

Just before 10.30pm, emergency services were called to Perseus Circuit where they found Mr Beniwal with serious head injuries.

He sustained severe skull fractures and internal bleeding.

He was rushed to Westmead Hospital in an induced coma and is reported to have undergone surgery.

In relation to the four men involved in the incident, Detective-Inspector Chris Laird commented: “they’re very shocked as to what’s happened and they’re cooperating.”

“We need to find out what’s happened, it’s a tragic incident that’s occurred essentially over nothing, the purchase of vapes.” he continued.

Hayward was arrested at Windsor Police Station, in the morning following the incident.

He was charged with assault with intent to rob, armed with an offensive weapon.

There is a prescribed maximum of 20-years imprisonment for being armed with an offensive weapon or being in company with another person, if you rob or assault someone with intent to rob a person, pursuant to section 97(1) of the Crimes Act 1900(NSW).
Here is more on assault charges.

What is an ‘offensive weapon’?

An ‘offensive weapon or instrument’ is defined in s 4(1) of the Act, as either a dangerous weapon, ‘any thing that is made or adapted for offensive purposes’, or ‘any thing that, in the circumstances, is used, intended for use or threatened to be used for offensive purposes, whether or not it is ordinarily used for offensive purposes or is capable of causing harm.’

It becomes an ‘aggravated’ version of the offence if the person is armed with a ‘dangerous’ weapon.

A dangerous weapon means a firearm, or an imitation firearm, within the meaning of the Firearms Act 1996, a prohibited weapon within the meaning of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 which includes flick knives and tasers, or a spear gun.

The maximum penalty for this is 25 years in jail.

Our assault lawyer Sydney team are happy to help if you have any questions arising from this article.

Published on 10/01/2021

AUTHOR Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia

Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia are Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Courts.

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