Court told of trou­bled child­hoods Girls’ spree on bot­tle shops

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SAM BIDEY

T R A U M A T I C c h i l d h o o d s were blamed for the be­hav­iour of two 16- year- old girls re­spon­si­ble for sev­eral armed rob­beries at Townsville bot­tle shops.

The girls, Rosa and Amy ( names changed for le­gal rea­sons) were en­ter­ing liquor stores, grab­bing a bot­tle of al­co­hol and threat­en­ing to bash the shop at­ten­dant over the head with it be­fore flee­ing.

The pair, who were just 15 at the time of the crimes, were sen­tenced in Townsville Dis­trict Court this week.

Rosa pleaded guilty to two counts of armed rob­bery, two counts of un­law­ful use of a ve­hi­cle and a count of en­ter premises to com­mit an in­dictable of­fence.

Amy pleaded guilty to un­law­ful use of a ve­hi­cle and two counts of armed rob­bery.

On Fe­bru­ary 1, 2018, a group of peo­ple drove to Mackay in a stolen Audi A3 and picked up Rosa.

Judge Greg Lyn­ham said the group drove to a nearby bot­tle shop and while one of the oth­ers dis­tracted the work- er, Rosa made off with a car­ton of rum and cola cans.

Three days later Rosa and oth­ers drove an­other stolen car from Mackay to Townsville and picked up Amy.

Judge Lyn­ham said Rosa and Amy then went into a bot­tle shop and were orig­i­nally turned away be­cause they didn’t have iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The pair re­turned, Rosa grabbed a 700ml bot­tle of rum and when the shop at­ten­dant tried to stop her steal­ing it she threat­ened to smash the bot­tle over his head. The pair then left with al­co­hol.

The girls and a co- of­fender then tried to pull off the same stunt at a dif­fer­ent store.

Judge Lyn­ham said on this oc­ca­sion the shop at­ten­dant at­tempted to grab the bot­tles off the girls. A wine bot­tle smashed in the al­ter­ca­tion and the girls fled with a rum bot­tle but were soon caught by po­lice.

The court heard both girls had been in the fos­ter care sys­tem due to abuse at home.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Travis Sch­mitt said Rosa had at times run away from her home to avoid her own mother.

The court also heard she was hos­pi­talised at just 10 months old due to be­ing vi­o­lently at­tacked and had since been di­ag­nosed with mod­er­ate men­tal re­tar­da­tion.

“It cer­tainly makes for a de­pres­sive read,” Judge Lyn­ham said about the girls’ his­to­ries.

“Re­gret­tably ( there are some) same fea­tures iden­ti­fied in both pre- sen­tence re­ports is of­ten an ex­pla­na­tion for the of­fend­ing. Ba­si­cally chil­dren who found their way into fos­ter care at an early age … brought up in dys­func­tional home en­vi­ron­ments pre­cip­i­tated by wit­ness­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.”

The court heard Rosa had been be­fore Townsville Chil­drens Court 15 times while Amy had been through the le­gal sys­tem on five pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions.

Rosa was sen­tenced to eight months’ youth de­ten­tion to be con­di­tion­ally re­leased im­me­di­ately on a three month pro­gram as well as a 14 month pro­ba­tion or­der.

Amy was sen­tenced months’ pro­ba­tion.

Con­vic­tions were not corded against ei­ther girl. re-

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