Grandad's heartbreak over violent criminal
THE heartbroken grandfather of a teenage girl involved in a brutal gang bashing in Cairns has spoken at her sentencing, expressing his sadness over the once "good girl".
The 16-year-old from Woree, who cannot be identified, was part of a group who violently attacked a 15-year-old girl at Bentley Park in February this year with onlookers filming and later posting the footage on Instagram where it went viral.
The video is so graphic it was classified child exploitation material by police with the court recently upholding charges against two youths accused of producing and distributing the footage.
The victim was brutally punched and kicked by the group who "took turns" assaulting her after she was lured to the park beside Bicentennial Rd.
The Cairns District Court heard yesterday the 16-year-old offender was not the main instigator, but took her turn and punched the victim's head, face and body 15 times and also kicked her.
She was also sentenced for the wilful damage of a house just days earlier, where she and two friends pelted rocks at the building and occupants for an hour, and a violent attack on a bus in June where she tried to smash a girl's head through a window, choked her with headphones and attacked her while she tried to disembark.
"She was a good girl, listening all the time and behaving," her well-spoken grandfather told the court.
"Her turn of behaviour was when she went to high school."
"She doesn't want to talk to me about her problems and I didn't want to ask."
The main offender - another 16-year-old girl - was only handed two years probation when sentenced earlier this month which left Judge Leanne Clare "vexed" about her sentencing options.
After viewing the footage in court she slammed the "cowardly and very cruel" offending which the girl had joined in "with enthusiasm".
"She was hit, she was kneed and kicked in the head over and over with real force," she said.
"People took turns. (The victim) was on the ground screaming.
"It was hard to imagine how frightened she was."
She said it was "remarkable" the victim's injuries weren't worse.
"This should be the most serious and most important moment of your life," she said to the teen.
"If you were an adult you could be going to jail for four years.
"Your grandfather is very concerned about you, he wants the best for you."
She also handed her two years probation for robbery in company with violence, assault occasioning bodily harm and wilful damage.
The court heard she had recently switched schools and had not offended for the past three months.
Originally published as 'She was a good girl': Grandad's heartbreak over violent teen crim