Teen thug with appalling record of "lawlessness" walks free

A PROBLEM teenager with an appalling record of "lawlessness" robbed a teenager when armed with a knife after arriving in a stolen Mercedes Benz.

The 16-year-old Ipswich boy went before a District Court judge and pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a motor vehicle; and armed robbery with violence. He was 15 at the time.

Crown prosecutor Caitlin Thompson said a Mercedes was stolen on April 24. And on May 5 at 10.30pm a 16-year-old male was walking home when the Mercedes slowed down and he heard yelling.

Two males ran at the victim and the youth held up a knife, demanding his phone and wallet.

A second male punched the victim in the left cheek, demanding his backpack.

The offender was arrested five days later with the victim's mobile phone, and the key to the stolen Mercedes. His school bag was found in the car .

Ms Thompson said the robbery would have been terrifying for the teenage victim.

"His (the offender) lengthy serious criminal history shows utter disregard for the law," Ms Thompson said.

The Crown sought a term of detention although Ms Thompson acknowledged his rehabilitation was also important.

She said he had an appalling record since the age of 12 with offences including an attempted robbery when armed with scissors, and assault.

Judge Dennis Lynch QC said he had entrenched, anti-social criminal behaviour that would take longer than three months to change.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said drugs were an issue and the youth had spent 250 days in custody (including a sentence for other offences).

He was sentenced to 18 months detention for the robbery, suspended immediately. The teen must comply with a strict three-month conditional release order. He was also placed on an 18-month probation order. No convictions were recorded.

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