a shadow of a hand holding bid machete knife
a shadow of a hand holding bid machete knife

Teen’s jail visit to brother ends in machete car jacking

JUST weeks after a Children's Court magistrate gave a teenager bail for an armed car stealing from his government youth worker, he and a mate did an even worse armed car-jacking.

Wielding a machete and yelling he would cut their legs off, his co-accused forced a Nissan Skyline owner to hand over the keys and the pair drove off in it laughing.

"See ya suckers," one thief called out.

It occurred after the car owner picked him up from a jail when the teen visited his older brother.

The details of the two crimes were revealed when the 17-year-old went before Judge Dennis Lynch QC in Ipswich Children's Court.

The teen, who turns 18 this month, was given a strong warning by Judge Lynch that any more offences would be dealt with in the adult court and he will go into jail - not a youth detention centre.

The teen pleaded guilty to armed robbery in company on March 10 in Springfield; unlawful use of a motor vehicle; and armed robbery in company/threaten violence on July 15.

Crown prosecutor Victoria Adams said the teen was arrested and charged on March 10 and granted bail the next day by an Ipswich Children's Court magistrate.

He was again arrested on July 16 the day after the car-jacking.

Ms Adams said the first crime involved a youth worker who had been sleeping over at a residential care facility.

The teen and his co-offender asked her to drive them to a park in Springfield which she did.

At the park both teens kept asking for her car keys but she said nothing. Instead when she unlocked the car to leave the teen quickly got into the driver's seat before she did.

She saw a pocket knife on his lap.

The woman told him to get out but then as she got her mobile phone to make a call the second teen grabbed it off her.

The second teen now held the pocket knife with its blade out. He threatened her and took the car keys from her pocket.

The pair drove off in her car which police found damaged later that day.

In Crown facts the second crime occurred after the owner of a Nissan Skyline drove the teen to a jail so he could visit his older brother.

Afterwards when they were in suburban Leichhardt the teen said his phone was missing and got everyone to get out of the Nissan Skyline to look.

Unexpectedly his co-accused was seen wielding a machete and swung it while yelling "I'll cut your f***ing legs off and slice you ".

The second teen then snatched the keys and as they drove off yelled "see ya suckers".

The owner's mobile phone fell off the car bonnet.

The pair filled the car with $37 fuel and drove-off without paying.

In submission on penalty his defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme recounted a traumatising situation the teen had become caught up in when held against his will and forced to make a false confession about an alleged offence.

Mr Seaholme said he was tortured in the incident and the false allegations made against him later discontinued by the Crown.

He outlined the teen's stay with a family of drug addicts who gave him drugs, and how some incidents when there left him with paranoia.

He said the teen has a strong loyalty to his older brother in jail who he idolised.

"This is his last chance as a child, If he wants to lead this sort of life we can't stop him," Mr Seaholme said.

Judge Lynch said such conduct can result in serious injury and it was fortunate no one was.

He said the teen had been in the care of the Department of Child Safety since the age of three. And exposed to physical abuse, drug use, and neglect when subject to long term placement care.

He took into account 30 days held in detention and a psychological report about his past trauma, flashbacks and PTSD, his drug use contributing to paranoia.

Noting the principles of Youth Justice legislation Judge Lynch said detention was not appropriate and sentenced the teen to a supervised 12 month probation order.

No conviction recorded.

Matters involving his co-accused will not be heard in court until next year.


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