Trasher boy out

‘Pub­lic will be safer’

Herald Sun - - NEWS - RE­BEKAH CAVANAGH re­bekah.cavanagh@news.com.au

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.

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