Bail law 'farce' exposed following teen's re-arrest

Bail laws are under fire in Wagga following the re-arrest of a teen who was last week arrested for property crime.

The 15-year-old male was released on conditional bail on Monday following a string of alleged offences last week.

It was claimed the boy broke into the home of an 89-year-old Turvey Park woman – the victim of multiple break and enters.

Less than 24-hours after being granted bail, the teen was captured on CCTV footage allegedly committing another crime at Tolland.

Wagga police inspector Andrew Spliet said the residents had returned to their Karen Street home on Tuesday to find their house ransacked and property missing. 

In addition to several counts of property crime, the teen was initially charged with steal motor vehicle and unlicensed driving.

The juvenile has since been charged with a fresh count of aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence and was represented in Wagga Children’s Court for a second time on Wednesday. 

The case was adjourned to April 22 and the 15-year-old will remain in custody till then. 

Wagga police superintendent Bob Noble said it was incredibly frustrating to arrest offenders, only to have them continue down the path of crime.

“It’s regrettable when they don’t take advantage of the liberty they’re granted,” Superintendent Noble said. 

“It happens a good deal more than it should.”

Superintendent Noble said it was a matter of striking the right balance between protecting the community and looking after the interests of the region’s youth. 

“Young people, particularly, are very vulnerable,” he said. 

“It’s a balancing act by the judiciary – a delicate balancing act – but like all of us, they are human.”

Wagga MP Daryl Maguire said there was a big concern within the community that bail laws, “which were very tough”, were not applied to their maximum. 

The Daily Advertiser last November reported Ashmont and Mount Austin combined hosted more than 60 per cent of the city’s alleged bail-granted law-breakers, leading police to believe a significant number of crimes in the area were committed by re-offenders. 

Mr Maguire said examples of bail-breach crime and related community sentiment were brought to the attention of the attorney general and NSW premier on Tuesday – an issue they said would be looked into.