DNA TESTS FOR RAPE CASE TEENS
By Luke Prendergast email@example.com TWO of the youths charged with the rape of a teenage girl in Byron Bay in March were DNA-tested yesterday. In the Byron Bay Children's Court and Byron Bay Local Court yesterday, Magistrate Jeff Linden granted the request of Lismore Director of Public Prosecutions, Andrew Horowitz, that swabs be taken from the two youths, identified only as 'W' and 'C'. Counsel for 'W' consented to the request, while counsel for 'C' left the decision to the Magistrate. 'W' has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person over the age of 10 and under the age of 14, while 'C' has been charged with one count of the same offence. It is alleged that five youths aged 18 or under sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in Byron Bay on March 11. The 'W' matter was mentioned in the Byron Bay Children's Court, while 'C''s was heard in Byron Bay Local Court. Both matters were adjourned for mention at Lismore Local Court on May 22. A brief will be served at the Lismore Legal Aid Commission on May 15. Counsel for 'C' asked for and was granted permission for 'C' to be excused from the Lismore hearing. Neither of the two accused were in court yesterday. Mr Linden also granted a request from counsel for 'W' that the conditions of the youth's bail be altered so he could reside with his parents. The other conditions of his bail remain in place. He must have no contact or association with any of his co-accused or the alleged victim. These conditions are in place for all five boys. Mr Horowitz asked the Magistrate put in place a 'broad, high-ranging suppression order' to prevent any reporting of the matter. However Mr Linden said the media was free to report anything said in open court. The only restriction was on reporting any names or other information which might identify the accused or the alleged victim. "As this is a gateway court for these matters, I haven't seen a fact sheet, I don't want to see a fact sheet, no one should see a fact sheet," Mr Linden said. Mr Horowitz argued that without a 'strong and formal' suppression of any information in the matter, speculation would be rife in the local community. Mr Linden answered that as no facts or evidence had been presented, 'how can there be speculation?' "One can't stop speculation but there's no factual information I can see they can get in this situation under the current circumstances," he said.