Judge sends seven rioting teens to jail
THE PARTICIPANTS THREATENED STAFF MEMBERS WITH VIOLENCE, INJURY, RAPE AND DEATH
SEVEN of the 20 youths responsible for a riot that caused $ 143,000 in damage to a youth detention centre and left a staffer blinded in one eye have been sentenced to jail terms.
A total of 10 juvenile offenders have now been sentenced over the riot at Cleveland Youth Detention Centre on November 10 last year. Yesterday seven boys, aged 14 to 17, were sentenced to jail terms ranging from two to three years.
Crown prosecutor Nigel Rees told the court that on the day of the riot, 23 youths were scheduled to play a rugby league game against school students from Charters Towers. The game was called off due to bad behaviour, and the youths began a “co- ordinated protest” about 4pm.
“The final child surrendered at 6.30am on November 11. During the course of the riot, the participants threatened staff members with violence, injury, rape and death,” Mr Rees said. “The offenders damaged buildings in order to craft weapons. They used the weapons on the staff.”
Five staff members were injured during the riot including Grant Oaklands, whose eye was hit with a rock. Mr Rees
PROSECUTOR NIGEL REES
said it was not known who had thrown the projectile.
Judge Gregory Lynham yesterday sentenced the youngest boy, who turned 14 the month before the riot, to two years in jail, with release after serving 50 per cent.
The eldest, who turned 17 the month prior to the riot, was sentenced as an adult offender to three years in jail.
Defence barrister Kelly Stone asked that the teenager be released immediately, as he would be transferred to the Stuart men’s prison. Judge Lynham did not agree and ordered parole release after serving a third of the sentence.
One boy, who was 15 at the time of the riot, was sentenced to two years with parole release after 50 per cent. He was also sentenced to 15 months in jail for the carjacking of a female university student.
Another boy, who was 16 at the time of the riot and is now 17, was sentenced to two- and- ahalf years in jail, with release after serving 50 per cent.
Judge Lynham said one boy, now 16, had assaulted two detention centre staff members in the months after the riot. “I would have thought, being involved in the riot, that you would have done your level best to stay out of trouble,” he said. The boy was sentenced to two- and- a- half years, with release after serving 60 per cent.
Two other boys, aged 16 and 17, were yesterday sentenced to two- and- a- half years in jail with release after 50 per cent.
In July, three boys aged 15, 16 and 16, were each sentenced to two- and- a- half years in jail, with release after serving 50 per cent. Ten youths are still facing the charge of rioting causing grievous bodily harm.