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1 September, 2021

Juvenile four back before the courts

FOUR juvenile females arrested and charged with arson for allegedly causing a fire that destroyed the Performance Motors workshop in the early hours of June 29 in Mareeba have recently or are set down to appear for respective committal mentions.

By Michael Warren

Four juveniles charged with the alleged arson of the Performance Motors workshop have again faced court.

FOUR juvenile females arrested and charged with arson for allegedly causing a fire that destroyed the Performance Motors workshop in the early hours of June 29 in Mareeba have recently or are set down to appear for respective committal mentions. 

Two of the female juveniles were slated to appear just two days ago on Monday, August 30 for their mentions while two others are scheduled for theirs in two weeks’ time on Monday September 13. 

The above dates follow previous court appearances by the quartet about the matter on June 30, July 2, August 9 and 16th. 

It’s expected the four juveniles will soon be expected to answer a plea where the matter will then be determined by a judge in a District Court. 

Meantime, KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has echoed both Kennedy MP Bob Katter and Hill MP Shane Knuth’s views that relocation sentencing to remote places like Kajabbi, 800kms west of Townsville is a potentially key measure to tackle and combat juvenile and youth crime offending. 

“The need has never been greater in North Queensland for innovative policy shifts that once-and-for-all address the relentless crime issues plaguing our communities,” Mr Katter said. 

“Recently we have learned that more than 15 youths have been sitting in police watchhouses because they can’t be accommodated by the current system. 

“I can guarantee you the communities of the North, whether in Townsville, Cairns, Mount Isa or the Atherton Tablelands will not accept these overcrowding issues as an excuse for returning the kids to the streets. 

“What we are seeing repeatedly in juvenile justice in Queensland is a useless and vicious cycle: the kids offend, they’re sent to Cleveland (detention centre) because they are an unacceptable risk to our communities, they’re released as soon as the legislation allows and then they re-offend and are returned. 

“No wonder there are never enough beds, the same kids just keep coming back; you might as well not even change their sheets. 

“How much clearer can it be to our communities that the current approaches are not working – detention is simply a holiday for these hardened offenders or a chance for them to criminally indoctrinate those who are younger or more vulnerable. 

“We need to get these kids out of town on a long-term basis and away from the influences that led to their criminality. 

“Then we need to engage them in opportunities, educations and programs that give them a genuine shot at a future." 

In recent days Hinchenbrook MP Nick Dametto has called for North Queensland to be appointed two new civilian prosecutors after Brisbane recently gained two of theirs to tackle the worst juvenile offenders in that part of the state. 

That development led Mr Dametto to reiterate that North and Far North Queensland need the same treatment Brisbane has received to combat chronic and troublesome juvenile youth offenders. 

“We have innocent people losing lives, law-abiding citizens being held hostage in their homes, families’ cars being stolen and lit on fire; North Queensland and Far North residents just want to feel safe in their homes," Mr Dametto said. 

“While it is horrific and unacceptable that Wallabies Toutai Kefu and his family was attacked in their own homes by juveniles, this is not an issue isolated to the south-east.

 “For years North Queenslanders have lived in fear they will be a target while asleep at night or be subject to mugging or car-jacking while going about their days.”


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