Teens charged over crime spree
THREE Casino teenagers accused of orchestrating a string of violent robberies over the weekend had either breached their bail or were on parole when they launched the crime spree, a court was told.
One of the accused had breached his bail conditions six times. He is just 14 years old.
On Monday afternoon, police charged a group of teens after they found an amount of alleged stolen property in a Tallowood Ave, Casino home, which police allege was frequented by the arrested adolescents.
The boys are accused of breaking into eight homes on Saturday night , including one home where they are alleged to have threatened a 52-year-old woman with a samurai sword and another where a .22 rifle and a shotgun are alleged to have been stolen.
In another home, police allege two boys assaulted an 82-year-old man by punching him and throwing a chair at him when the man woke up to find the defendants in his Acacia Ave home.
Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Acting Inspector Matt Kehoe said the arrests came after a police foot pursuit.
"The (defendants) saw the police and ran from the house, but were arrested fairly quickly," he said.
"We have had a spike in crime and it would be predominantly a small group responsible for a majority of that crime.
"With the recent arrests we would hope to start to put a fair dent into the crime out there."
Boys aged 14, 15, 13 and 17 years fronted Lismore Children's Court yesterday charged with aggravated break and enter offences.
Family of the boys sat in the public gallery, with one mother shaking her head as her son stepped into the dock.
The 15 and 14 year olds were also charged with assaulting and occasioning actual bodily harm to the 82-year-old.
Defence lawyer Danielle Stubbs applied for bail on behalf of all the young defendants.
But it was evident bail was not a solution for some.
Magistrate Linden slammed one bail application as "hopeless" after he stated the 14-year-old had breached his bail conditions six times.
He also refused bail for the 17-year-old who was already on parole for a similar offence.
The curly brown hair of the 13-year-old could barely be seen over the wall of the dock when he took his turn to front the court.
Despite having two breach of bail offences on his record, the year eight student was granted bail, as was the 15-year-old with a blemish-free criminal history.
Ms Stubbs questioned the credibility of the police evidence and stated the only evidence they had was based on interviews with the co-accused.
She indicated pleas of not guilty for two of the defendants and said the 17-year-old denied any knowledge of the incident.
"...the prosecution case is not strong," she said.