Riverway thug banned
A 13-YEAR-OLD boy who police allege was responsible for two violent assaults and robberies at the new Riverway complex, including one on an 11-year-old child, has been banned from going within 500 metres of the new community facility.
The child was given conditional bail, but not before he was given several conditions and a blunt, plain-English warning by Magistrate David Glasgow.
The boy, who was taken into custody last Saturday, is charged with robbery with violence, assault occasioning bodily harm in company and receiving stolen property, in connection with an incident at Riverway at the weekend.
Police allege the boy and a companion bailed up a 17-year-old who was riding a bike and listening to his Ipod.
The two robbers demanded the Ipod and headphones. When the youth refused to hand them over, they punched him about the head, causing cuts, swelling and a sore jaw.
The boy was apprehended by nearby police after a foot chase. Police said they recovered the stolen Ipod from down his pants.
The identity of the child’s accomplice is now known to police but he is yet to be detained.
The arrested child is also charged with another assault and robbery involving an 11-year-old child on August 13 at Riverway.
In that incident, it is alleged the victim was punched in the face and a bike stolen.
Magistrate David Glasgow expressed doubts that he should grant a bail application brought by barrister Gavin Hansen, because it would leave the child at large over the holiday period.
However Mr Hansen successfully argued that a range of conditions on the bail would ensure that the boy would have little opportunity to re-offend.
Mr Hansen said the boy had only recently gone off the rails, upset at the death of two of his siblings.
Counsel said the child had a violent father, and though the mother admitted to previous alcohol and drug problems, ‘she had now cleaned up her act’ and wanted the child back at home with her and his seven brothers and sisters.
Mr Glasgow sought further details before granting conditional bail, but the boy left the dock under no illusions about what would happen if he broke any conditions.
‘‘What do you think of Cleveland Detention Centre as a place to live?’’ Mr Glasgow asked the boy, who had been held there since his weekend arrest. ‘‘It’s a bad place,’’ the boy replied. ‘‘Well, if you stuff up on this bail, that’s where you go . . . and that is where you will stay until this matter is settled (sometime next year in the District Court),’’ Mr Glasgow told him.
The magistrate then imposed several conditions, including a ban on going within 500 metres of Riverway, which Mr Glasgow said meant he could not go to the Willows shopping centre or anywhere along the old Ross River Road.
Mr Glasgow also imposed a 7pm to 7am curfew, directed that the child live with his mother in Rosslea, and ordered that he attend the Youth Justice Centre in Bamford Lane.
‘‘I know you’ve had a rough time,’’ Mr Glasgow said, referring to the death of his siblings,‘‘but there are elders available for you to talk to about that, and I suggest you do so.’’ Mr Glasgow then ordered the police prosecutor to prepare the case for a District Court hearing next year.