Trasher boy out
‘Public will be safer’
A TEEN who helped trash an Airbnb home while out on bail has been freed by a magistrate who said locking him up would make the public less safe.
Deferring sentencing of the boy, 17, yesterday, magistrate Pauline Spencer said he was at risk of becoming hardened if locked up alongside more “entrenched” inmates.
“The community will be less safe if you stay in there. I’ve thought very hard about this and I am prepared to give you a chance to prove you are a better person,” she said.
The boy pleaded guilty in the Children’s Court to involvement in a January assault on a man at a South Melbourne McDonald’s, a May robbery of a train passenger, and the June 30 trashing of an Airbnb rental in Hawthorn East, in which up to 50 people of African appearance caused up to $300,000 damage.
The teen, the only person charged so far over the out-of- control party, said he had thrown a chair through a window to “show off” to mates.
Ms Spencer said she understood peer pressure but when it led to behaviour that harmed others “that’s not honourable. That’s shameful”.
“Your behaviour on each of those occasions was disgraceful,” she said, and had “caused a great deal of harm”.
The youth’s lawyer said “fairly thorough” arrangements had been made to keep him busy, including a plumbing pre-apprenticeship course and sport. He must attend school daily, observe a 7pm-6am curfew, avoid his coaccused, and acknowledge his behaviour to any of his victims who wish to confront him.
His case will be reviewed in September. Ms Spencer warned he would be detained if he breached the conditions.