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Teenagers, man charged after Nowra man allegedly murdered over $30 and mobile phone

Police have described the alleged stabbing murder of man on the New South Wales South Coast as “violent, senseless and cowardly”.

Three people, a 22-year-old man and two 17-year-old boys, have been charged with murder over the death of Michael Kerr.

The teenagers were arrested at Penrith on Tuesday while the older man was arrested following a search of a home at Warilla on Wednesday morning.

Police allege the 51-year-old died while he was being robbed by the trio of $30 and a mobile phone, in January last year.

“These three people had attempted to rob a service station but for whatever reason they were deterred,” Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad said.

“They then drove around Nowra and it was an opportunistic crime, they confronted Michael Kerr who happened to be in the area at the time after visiting his girlfriend in hospital.

“These three men robbed Michael Kerr of just $30 and a mobile phone but more importantly they took something that was invaluable and that was the life of a human being.”

‘Don’t think he stood a chance’

Superintendent Doherty said police believed Mr Kerr had attempted to defend himself but was allegedly outnumbered.

“We do believe he tried to fight back,” he said.

“We don’t think he stood a chance, he was a 51-year-old man who just happened to be in the area at the wrong time.

“It was a cowardly act, it’s a violent act, it was a senseless act.”

Hand cuffs being placed on a man's wrists
The trio are accused of stabbing Michael Kerr to death at Nowra in January last year.(Supplied: NSW Police)

Family grateful

Superintendent Doherty said Mr. Kerr’s family were relieved after being notified of the arrests following the year-long investigation.

“It’s been an upsetting 12 months for them and they’ve been grieving over this time,” he said.

“There’s a long way ahead for them but they’re grateful for the police and the work that they’ve done.

“I’m also very proud of the work of strike force investigators as well.”

All three accused have been charged with murder, aggravated robbery with wounding/grievous bodily harm, attempted robbery in company, and drive conveyance taken without the consent of the owner.

The teenagers were refused bail and are due to appear before the Children’s Court in March.

The 22-year-old man was refused bail when his case was mentioned today and is due to appear in Wollongong Local Court on Friday.