Teen bailed after crime spree

By Brendan Rees

A teenage girl labelled an “unacceptable risk” to the community after allegedly stealing a car and committing a crime spree in Casey has been granted bail, a court has heard.

The accused faced a litany of charges including aggravated burglary, committing an indictable offence while on bail, theft of a motor vehicle, theft, and dangerous driving during a Supreme Court bail hearing on 17 September.

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, allegedly broke into a Cranbourne home before stealing a Mini Cooper with two co-accused about 11pm on 18 August, the court heard.

About 30 minutes later the trio allegedly committed an aggravated burglary on premises at Paterson Lakes however the occupant’s mother confronted them and chased them out of the house.

But before doing so, they allegedly stole items from a vehicle in the driveway, the court heard.

They then allegedly attempted an aggravated burglary at a Clyde North home but were startled by the occupants.

Forty minutes later at 6am, the accused allegedly broke into a Clyde North home and stole a set of keys to a BMW sedan. The occupant, who was home with her two young children was awoken and shouted at the intruders to leave, before the trio took off with the BMW and Mini Cooper, the court was told.

The court heard the teen was arrested after she allegedly crashed the stolen BMW into two parked cars in Mulgrave on 19 August, and has remained in custody since with three applications for bail refused.

The teen also had four outstanding matters this year in which she had pleaded guilty to 30 charges while on bail, and to seven charges in respect of which she was charged on summons.

They were listed to be heard at a Children’s Court on 25 September. The charges include an alleged theft from a shopping centre as well as an aggravated burglary (where occupants were home) and theft of motor vehicle charges earlier this year.

She is also accused of stealing from multiple vehicles and at one point allegedly stealing a credit card to make fraudulent transactions.

The court heard the teen began study until her enrolment lapsed last December.

A report from Youth Justice Bail Service stated that the applicant had engaged well with Youth Justice since being subject to supervised bail on 30 April, the court was told.“The report stated that the applicant was committed to re-engaging with her education, that she had demonstrated compliance with the supervision component of the supervised bail, and that she has the support of her mother,” the court heard.

The report recommended that the applicant be released on intensive bail subject to conditions, the court heard.

Granting bail Judge Kaye said while he acknowledged the seriousness of the alleged offending, “there are a number of relevant factors that weigh in favour of a conclusion that the applicant has established exceptional circumstances”.

“In particular, the age of the applicant at the time of the offending, and at the time of this application, is of significance,” Judge Kaye said.

“Further, I am not persuaded that the risk of the applicant reoffending, or endangering members of the community, is unacceptable, if she were released on bail.”

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