Judges orders Sydney youth undergo psychological assessment
Sentencing for a 17-year-old Sydney boy, who told police he had stolen between 40 and 50 cars in his short lifespan, has been adjourned after the judge ordered a psychological assessment.
The youth, who cannot be named in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is to be sentenced on three counts of breaching court orders and a single count of taking a vehicle without consent (joy riding). The offences occurred in Sydney between November 2016 and January 2017.
The youth has 35 prior convictions for offences including breach, theft, possession of stolen property and joy riding. He has been involved in the theft of five vehicles, two of which were subsequently written off.
In a statement to police after his latest arrest, the youth commented that he’s likely to have stolen between 40 and 50 cars during his life.
During his most recent offence in January in which he again stole a vehicle, the youth was on probation, he was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet that monitors his movements, and admitted to being “pickled and high on pills.”
“The only option is to take him off the streets,” said prosecutor Steve Drake, in recommending an eight- month sentence followed by a one-year probation period.
Both Drake and defence lawyer Matt MacNeil, who agreed with the sentence proposal, spoke about growing concerns over the youth’s behavior, which prompted Judge Ann Marie MacInnes to order the assessment.
“Why are we here today when there seems to be so many questions out there about his mental health?” asked the judge.
In a pre-sentence report, the youth said he would not agree to being placed on house arrest, serving probation or wearing another electronic tracking device.
Although expelled from school because of angry outbursts, the youth told probation officials he does not have anger issues nor a drug or alcohol problem.
Sentencing is now set for March 29.