Handcuffed man standing in courtroom
Handcuffed man standing in courtroom

Teenage burglar tells eldery woman to lift up skirt

A TEENAGER who broke into an elderly woman's house and told the 72-year-old to lift up her skirt has been released after serving 131 days in detention.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons first came before the courts when he was just 13.

He pleaded guilty to break and enter at night in company with threats, as well as wilful damage when he faced the Children's Court of Queensland in Townsville on Monday.

In July last year the elderly victim spotted the boy and another teenager in her courtyard as she was heading to her clothesline.

She headed back towards the house and attempted to close the door as the 17-year-old threw a garden ornament at her.

Judge John Coker said fortunately the object did not hit the victim but it did smash, constituting the wilful damage.

The court heard the elderly woman then armed herself with a knife as the two teens forced their way into her home.

The 17-year-old taunted the woman before taking the scissors from her and shoving her aside.

"You going to stab us are you," the court heard he said.

Crown prosecutor Siobhan Harrison said the boys then asked for "smoke" and "drink" but the woman said she didn't have any.

The 17-year-old grabbed cigarette butts from an ashtray while the other teen managed to locate a tin of tobacco.

Ms Harrison said the accused asked the woman if she lived alone before telling her to "lift up your skirt".

The elderly woman refused and said her husband had just arrived home, prompting the teens to flee the property.

Judge Coker described their actions as "cowardly".

The court heard the victim, although not physically incident was distressed by the incident.

Defence barrister Michael Hibble said the defendant had a problem with alcohol.

Mr Hibble said when his client drank to excess he acted out of character and often felt regret when he was sober.

The court heard the 17-year-old became distressed when a psychologist recounted the events to him.

"That's not right… that's going too far," he told the psychologist.

Judge Coker said the 131 days the child had spent in custody was the appropriate amount of time and further ordered an 18 month probation order.

The teenager must not commit further offences in the 18 month period or risk being taken into custody and comply with other requirements as directed by Corrective Services.

Judge Coker decided the offending, on the back of the defendant's criminal history, required convictions to be recorded which is considered a last resort for youth.



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