Teen home invaders in court
TWO schoolboys accused of anattempted armed robbery appeared in the Casino Children's Court yesterday.
The charges they face relate to an incident on July 8 in which they and three others allegedly went to a property in Casino with a plan to carry out a home invasion.
One of the boys, aged 14, pleaded guilty to four charges – of attempted break and enter while armed; attempted robbery with an offensive weapon; using an offensive weapon to commit an indictable offence; and common assault.
His co-accused, aged 15, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Police allege that the two boys and three others had bought a black plastic replica handgun at a $2 store in a retail plaza. Two balaclavas and a pair of gloves were alleged to have been taken at the same time.
Police allege one of the group removed a red stopper from the gun inorder to make it look more realistic.
They allegedly formed a plan to carry out a home invasion and decided that their target should be elderly, as they were less likely to fight back.
A Cumberland Street house was chosen and one of the youths went to the door twice and spoke to a man, asking directions to a fast-food restaurant, police said.
The group then agreed to knock on the door again, when one of them would brandish the replica handgun and demand entry.
It was agreed that they would all then rush in and steal whatever items they could, police alleged.
When the elderly resident was threatened with the handgun, the man believed it was real, slammed the front door and yelled to his wife to contact the police.
The youths fled across the rugby union fields in Johnston Street, throwing the gun away. Three of them went to the fast-food restaurant, where they were found by police.
One of the youths showed police where the gun had been thrown, but denied any involvement in the alleged offences. It was only at this stage that police realised it was a replica.
The case of the boy who pleaded guilty was adjourned until September 22 by Magistrate Robyn Denes yesterday, pending a Juvenile Justice report.
The boy who pleaded not guilty is also free on bail, and is due to reappear on September 15.