VANDALISED: A car owner inspecting her smashed window.Picture: DAVID NIELSEN
VANDALISED: A car owner inspecting her smashed window.Picture: DAVID NIELSEN

Gran tells how gang of youths trashed house

By PATRIZIA REIMER news@northernstar.com.au

THEY took photos afterwards to keep as trophies.

So Bobbi Goodrich asks how the gang of youths who trashed her Goonellabah house do not know what they were doing was wrong.

On February 21 the grandmother and mother of four noticed a group of teenagers throwing rocks and bottles at passing cars.

When she and her husband yelled at the kids to stop, concerned they might seriously hurt someone, things got nasty.

"That was it, all hell broke loose," she said.

"These kids were really young, we heard a smash down where our cars were parked. My husband and son jumped the fence.

"They threw weapons at them, then one of the older ones pulled out a knife.

"I had been ringing the police since ten to eight and continued to ring every time something happened. They came 50 minutes later. When they left the situation was still out of control."

Soon afterwards, she said, the group of about 30 youths smashed windows in their house and continued to terrorise the family, forcing them to flee.

"We went back the next day to get some of our stuff out and had abuse hurled at us," said Bobbi.

Inspector Dave Driver from Lismore Police said they were still investigating the matter.

The family never went back and as far as Bobbi is concerned, New South Wales Opposition Leader Peter Debnam is right in his call for the law to place more responsibility on unruly youth.

"The way I see it is if you've got a two-year-old and you don't reprimand them, they're only going to get naughtier and naughtier and that's what's happened to these guys," Bobbi said.

The violence appears to be a growing trend in the area, with several youthdriven brawls and attacks occurring locally.

Coraki has been in the grip of violence in which youths have terrorised locals and vandalised homes.

Brawls involving hun- dreds of alcohol-fuelled teens have been a common theme in Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, Lennox Head and Alstonville.

But Ballina Councillor Peter Moore, who is also the regional manager for Life Without Barriers, which helps young people at risk, said all children developed differently and needed to be assessed individually.

"We need to recognise they develop at lots of different levels," Cr Moore said.



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