Court told of troubled childhoods Girls’ spree on bottle shops
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-