A teenage girl has been bound over by the Youth Court after assaulting two boys, slapping one of them, and disrupting police officers as they dealt with a "potentially serious" incident on New Year’s Day.
The sentence means that the 16-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - will not face a punishment if she avoids getting in trouble again over the next six months.
She appeared in Youth Court on Tuesday to answer charges of common assault and one of being drunk and disorderly.
Summing up the facts for the Youth Court panel, which consisted of Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris, Tracy Peters and Jonathan Bugbird, the Centenier said the girl had pushed one boy in the torso as he was getting up from a bench, causing him to fall backwards.
She then “forcibly” pushed another boy, who then bumped into a nearby bin. When the boy turned around to face the girl and called her names, she slapped him to the right ear.
Pictured: Advocate Julian Gollop was representing the girl.
Advocate Julian Gollop, who was representing the girl, said both young males were taller and stockier than his client.
Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris noted that the girl had kept out of trouble since the incident in October, except for an incident in which she disturbed Police as they carried out their duties on New Year’s Day.
Questioned about the incident, the girl admitted it was “stupid”.
“The police were dealing with something potentially serious… They weren’t accusing you of something … They weren’t there because of you,” the Assistant Magistrate explained.
He described the girl as having made a nuisance of herself during the incident, which had led her to be arrested again and face another charge.
“After all that time keeping out of trouble and a week before going back to court this happens,” he continued. “What we are concerned about is you not getting in trouble. Only one person can make that happen… What we want is for [you] to make good decisions for [you].”
Pictured: Youth Court hearings take place in the Magistrate's Court.
Referring to a report from the Probation Service, the Assistant Magistrate noted there were “an awful lot of people” in the girl’s life outside of her family.
He then asked the girl if she could convince the court that she had to make better decisions and keep out trouble. When she replied “yes” in a small voice, he jokingly added: “Try to be a bit more convincing."
He decided to bind the girl over for six months instead of imposing a probation order. This view was endorsed by Advocate Gollop, who noted there were “a number of agencies” already involved with the girl, which should be given the opportunity “to make progress with her so that we don’t see her again".
The Assistant Magistrate told the girl to “focus on building on the work” she had done over the last six weeks, describing the New Year’s Day incident as a “blip”.
He also explained the principle of restorative justice, telling the girl it was to try and make things better for her, which would in turn makes things better for everybody.
“Other people are affected by what you do,” he told the teen, adding that she needed to think about the consequences of her actions.
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