A 15-YEAR-OLD youth waiting to be sentenced for three Warrnambool armed robberies has again been released on bail after allegedly robbing a woman of her phone on Saturday night.
The youth, who cannot be named because he is under 18 years old, appeared in a court yesterday and applied for bail after being charged with robbery, possessing a prohibited weapon and possessing the proceeds of crime.
Police opposed bail, saying the youth was an unacceptable risk of reoffending and he had to show why his continued detention was no longer justified.
The boy was already on bail before last Saturday’s incident, charged with three armed robberies in the Henna Street area during late July.
He is in the process of taking part in a group conference, where he will confront his victims, before being sentenced in court on October 24. The youth pleaded guilty to those armed robbery charges.
A 17-year-old co-offender with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to serve two months in a youth justice centre late last month for the same armed robberies.
Yesterday a police officer told the court that on Saturday at 11.55pm a 25-year-old woman was walking alone down Aitkins Road when the youth approached her from behind and snatched her mobile telephone.
Police were called and spoke to the victim, who described the offender as a young, thin male wearing a grey hoodie.
A friend of the victim then used his mobile telephone to find the stolen iPhone through an uploaded application.
Police then went to an address and found the youth in the process of putting items, including the iPhone, a backpack and grey hoodie, through a manhole in the laundry and into the roof space.
Officers also found a machete with a 50cm blade and what is believed to be a dismantled, stolen BMX bike in the roof.
The investigating police officer told the court that the accused youth had made full admissions to the robbery.
Part of his existing bail conditions included a 6pm to 6am curfew.
A solicitor said the youth had an IQ of just 61 and although the offending behaviour was similar to previous crimes, it was hard to imagine a robbery which involved less physical force.
The police prosecutor said the youth had committed another robbery while on bail, he had access to a machete and warned the youth was capable of committing another armed robbery.
A magistrate said he was going to release the youth on bail as he was a young person with intellectual disability concerns.
He said despite the seriousness of the offending it was unlikely the youth would receive a custodial sentence for the crimes.
The magistrate said it was concerning the offending was committed while on bail and of a similar nature to previous crimes.
The youth was released on bail but has to continue abiding by his curfew, reside at an address and obey all lawful instructions of carers.
The magistrate told the youth that he did not want to lock him up but he would if the youth continued to get into trouble or breached his parole.
“If you do any more of this sort of stuff you’ll probably get locked up,” the magistrate told the youth.
The youth was bailed to reappear in court on September 26.