Wagga teenager facing 11 charges granted court bail

A WAGGA teenager accused of breaking into nearly a dozen homes and a motel room – sometimes while alleged victims slept – has been granted bail.

The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was on bail for eight other alleged crimes when he was arrested and charged with 11 more offences last Friday.

He was refused police bail on the fresh charges and faced Parramatta Children’s Court on Saturday where the case was returned to Wagga on Monday.

Wagga Children’s Court heard the fresh charges related to offences allegedly committed by the boy months before he was granted bail on June 8 for the other eight matters.

The court heard he was charged after his fingerprints were found to match those taken at crime scenes  in Kooringal, Mount Austin, Turvey Park, Tolland and central Wagga.

It is alleged he took property from several premises, including $4000 cash from one property and Iphones and cash from another home.

According to a charge sheet tendered to the court, the boy broke into a motel room while two guests slept.

The alleged offences occurred between October 29 last year and May 28 this year and generally occurred in the middle of the night.

Despite the large number of charges, the boy’s solicitor, Jim Allen, told the court that given his client’s young age at the time of the alleged offences – 15 and barely 16 – it was by no means a foregone conclusion the youngster would receive a full-time custodial sentence.

He said he was told by the boy’s grandfather the teenager had abided by his bail conditions since June 8.

“I have given him an indication of what he can expect if he plays up while on bail,” Mr Allen said.

Police prosecutor, Sergeant Priscilla Jones, opposed bail, saying there was an unacceptable risk the boy would offend on bail, and police held concerns about community safety.

“There is a substantial number of break and enters, some of which are aggravated,” Sergeant Jones said.

She said the break-ins had been traumatic for the victims.

Magistrate Brian Van Zuylen described the alleged offences as extremely serious and said police apparently had a strong case, but he also noted the boy had never been to court before the first set of matters. He noted the boy’s grandfather was in court to support the accused, who had been doing well on bail.

“There is no suggestion he has breached the bail he had for eight or nine days or so,” the magistrate said.

“The court has been persuaded on this occasion it will grant bail again on substantially similar terms.”

The case was adjourned to July 18 for plea or mention.