Repeat offender given last chance

A 16-YEAR-OLD youth who put ‘the boot in’ on his robbery victim went before the Children’s Court at Lismore and Casino three times last week, despite telling the court he would not offend again.

Magistrate Robyn Denes had the predicament of what to do with the young offender if she released him from custody after it was revealed he had been living with other youths in a Lismore motel room.

Asked by Ms Denes if they were the same group of friends he had been with when he broke into a house and assaulted a person, the teen replied: “No, they’re a new group of friends.”

Ms Denes raised her concerns that he may breach his bail conditions.

“Of course not. There is no way in God’s name I’m ever going to break the law again,” the teen said from the dock.

“There is also a ban on you in Lismore Square shopping centre,” Ms Denes said.

“I’ll go up the coast to buy anything I need,” he replied.

Ms Denes said things began ‘unravelling’ for him when he committed more offences in August last year in breach of his probation orders made only the month before.

Ms Denes said he stole from, then assaulted, the owner when he tried to get back his stolen belongings.

“You punched him a few times and when on the ground you continued to kick him,” she said.

“You don’t kick people on the ground. If you were an adult and you kicked someone on the ground then you would go in (to jail)”.

Ms Denes placed him under a control order for 12 months, immediately suspended, ordering the teen to be supervised for 12 months by Juvenile Justice, and to obey all its directions.

She said he still had a mental health disorder that was noted at one stage as being a drug induced psychosis after the teen tried magic mushrooms.

He was also ordered not to leave home between 9pm and 7am unless in the company of an adult approved by Juvenile Justice. He must not drink alcohol or take drugs.

However, he again made a brief appearance at Children’s Court the next day, seated in the dock shirtless with a minor hand injury.

After being ordered to attend at the Lismore Adolescent Mental Health Unit for assessment he reappeared in court the following day to face a new charge.

The teen is accused of stealing a $3000 laptop computer and an iPod from a college room in East Lismore at 11pm on February 15 – a charge he denied despite admitting to police to being in the college grounds that night and ‘poking his head’ into a unit.

“I’ll give you one last chance. Call it Last Chance Bail,” said an exasperated Ms Denes.

After being granted bail to abide by the orders of Juvenile Justice, the teen is due back before the court on March 29.

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