Bash­ing probe widens

Geraldton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - Tamra Carr

Ger­ald­ton po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether to charge by­standers and the per­son who filmed a vi­o­lent bash­ing af­ter school last Fri­day.

Po­lice ar­rested three teenage girls on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, shortly af­ter video of the at­tack emerged.

The video shows two girls in John Will­cock Col­lege uni­forms knock­ing a girl to the ground, pulling her hair, punch­ing and stomp­ing on her head.

Af­ter in­quiries, a third girl was ar­rested and all three have been charged with as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing bod­ily harm.

The in­ci­dent did not oc­cur on school grounds.

Se­nior Sergeant Brad Bird said the videoed at­tack was one of the worst he’d seen in 28 years of polic­ing. Yes­ter­day he said fur­ther charges may be laid.

“At the mo­ment my in­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing at the by­standers that in­cited the fight, as well as those that video­taped it and loaded it up onto so­cial me­dia and for­warded it on,” he said.

“What I will also say is that if there’s any­one out there in­volved in bul­ly­ing, please step up and speak to some­body about it be­cause this can stop the si­t­u­a­tion that we saw on video where it got to such a vi­o­lent act.”

Enough is enough and it has to stop.

Act­ing deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral of pub­lic schools, Stephen Bax­ter

The vic­tim pre­sented at the Ger­ald­ton Hos­pi­tal emer­gency de­part­ment on Oc­to­ber 26 and was dis­charged the same day.

Sen. Sgt Brad Bird said as well as pro­tect­ing the vic­tim, po­lice were also en­sur­ing the girls in­volved were re­ceiv­ing the nec­es­sary sup­port. “We’ll be work­ing with our stake­hold­ers and their fam­i­lies,” he said.

Act­ing deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of pub­lic schools Stephen Bax­ter has also weighed in, sug­gest­ing the girls school will also dis­ci­pline stu­dents de­ter­mined to be in­volved.

“The ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter has made it very clear that she is draw­ing a line in the sand on this type of vi­o­lence in­volv­ing school-aged chil­dren — enough is enough and it has to stop,” Mr Bax­ter said.

“While this is cur­rently a po­lice mat­ter, my ex­pec­ta­tion is that strong school dis­ci­plinary ac­tion will be taken in this case to show vi­o­lence is en­tirely un­ac­cept­able.”

Any­one who has in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing this in­ci­dent should call Ger­ald­ton po­lice on 9923 4555.

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