A TEEN wannabe killer will receive kid glove treatment from the state’s highest court despite pleading guilty to attempted murder and burglary.
As the state’s youth crime wave reaches breaking point, the violent 15-year-old will receive special treatment following a ruling by a Supreme Court judge. (Because of the seriousness of his crimes the teen must be dealt with in the Supreme Court.)
Justice Kevin Bell yesterday handed down nine directions to ensure the “avoidance of unnecessary intimidation, humiliation and distress” for the youth’s hearings.
It included orders the teen must never be handcuffed, can sit among family and friends in court “as he wishes”, and cannot be kept in court custody cells with adult prisoners.
Instead, when court is not sitting he will be held in a plush court anteroom attached to the courtroom where his hearing will take place.
The courtroom has no prisoner dock and has been selected because of its small size.
The youth, who will have the chance to pick where he sits in court, will also be given the opportunity to familiarise himself with the courtroom.
Justice Bell also directed: THE youth is to be referred to by his first name and gender only, and never by a pejorative or descriptive term such as “the prisoner”;
THERE be continuity of judge and hearing room with no changes without good reason;
COUNSEL and judge are not to be robed; and
LAWYERS must speak in simplified language.
“These arrangements shall be maintained unless different arrangements are required in his best interests or for other sufficient reason,” Justice Bell said.
The nature of the teen’s offending cannot be detailed because his prior hearings have been dealt with in secret.
Shadow attorney-general John Pesutto slammed the ruling, saying: “Youths charged with brutal crimes like murder are tried in adult courts rather than the Children’s Court for a reason – because their actions are so far outside the range of normal child behaviour.”
A government spokesman said it would not comment.