Man ‘offends on probation'

A TEENAGER accused of breaking into three backpacker hostels and sexually assaulting four women was on probation at the time of the alleged offences, a court was told yesterday.

But the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was yesterday granted bail when he appeared in Bundaberg Magistrates Court.

The 19-year-old is accused of going on a rampage on April 18, during which it is alleged he broke into the three hostels and tried to break into two others, assaulted the women backpackers while they slept and stole a range of items including groceries, a backpack and personal papers.

He has been charged with 17 offences, including sexual assault, trespassing, breaching probation, common assault and entering a premises with intent at night to commit an indictable offence.

He has been remanded in custody since April 18.

The teenager sat in the dock wearing brown rolled-up pants, a green polo shirt and thongs, with his hands clasped in his lap, as police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens opposed bail.

Sgt Stevens told the court the accused was an unacceptable risk of committing further offences against the public.

Probation officer Greg McMahon said the man had not been meeting his probation conditions and had been “practising for a gold medal in hide and seek” with probation officers.

“If he doesn't re-engage, it will go against him in the future,” he said.

But Magistrate Jennifer Batts said she took into account the man's young age and the time he had already served in custody, before deciding to grant him bail.

“It's very important to re-engage on your probation,” Ms Batts told the man.

“Those orders were provided in the full expectation you would do and respect what was requested.”

The conditions of the man's bail require him to permanently live with his father and to not leave the home from 6pm to 7am without his father's company.

He also must submit to regular random breath testing and not drink any alcohol.

Ms Batts ordered the teenager to report to police each Monday and Friday.

The man must not go to, enter or remain at any backpacker hostels or similar types of accommodation facilities.

The man will reappear in court on June 20.

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