THE Wagga teenager who broke a little girl’s back when he rode a trail bike into her while showing off at Jubilee Park will be sentenced in the District Court.
Judge Jennifer English on Monday dismissed an application by the teenager’s solicitor, Shawn Mortimer, to have the now 18 year old sentenced in the Children’s Court.
The case has been back and forth between the two courts over the past two months to decide which jurisdiction should pass sentence, but Judge English’s decision seems to have ended the impasse.
The boy has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm. He rode the trail bike onto Jubilee Park where some 600 children were playing football on May 7 and struck an 11-year-old girl who unwittingly ran into his path.
Mr Mortimer raised a number of factors under Section 18 of the Children’s (Criminal Proceedings) Act to argue the case could be adequately dealt with in the Children’s Court.
They included the offender’s mild intellectual disability, his early guilty plea and the fact the victim suffered injuries at the low end of seriousness for the offence.
He said the Children’s Court’s maximum sentence of two years would not be surpassed when all factors were taken into account.
The maximum sentence for the boy’s offence in the District Court is seven years.
Crown solicitor Virginia Morgan said the Children’s Court did not have the scope to sentence the teenager, who cannot be named because he was 17 at the time of the crash.
“It was an extremely dangerous course of conduct he was engaged in and it was almost inevitable an accident would result,” Mrs Morgan said.
In handing down her decision, Judge English said the teenager was clearly showing off – he fish-tailed and performed wheel stands before hitting the girl.
She said it would have been obvious to even an unsophisticated young person the behaviour posed a significant risk to others. The teenager will be sentenced later in the sittings.
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