A teenaged boy has narrowly avoided jail time despite carrying out an “awful attack” with a machete that left a 12-year-old girl in hospital for six months.
The 18-year-old boy’s case was heard in the Supreme Court this week, nearly two years after the unbridled attack in Galiwinku.
Chief Justice Michael Grant said he was “not convinced at all” the youth did not present any risk of re-offending, despite a clean record for almost two years on bail under supervision at an outstation.
In handing down his sentence, Chief Justice Grant said the youth had been diagnosed with an intellectual disability and some cognitive deficit and had not re-offended or breached the conditions of bail since granted.
“While some of those things might be right, I am not convinced at all that you no longer present any risk of re-offending,” he said.
“When asked about the offending during the course of a psychiatric assessment, you sought to attribute blame for what happened to your friends urging you to hit the girl.
“During your time at [at the station], you were recorded as saying that you had been held there too long, because in your words ‘I didn’t kill her’.”
Chief Justice Grant raised concerns the youth did not feel “any genuine remorse” for the horror attack, which took place in the early hours of the morning on October 30, 2018.
Sixteen-years-old at the time, the court heard the youth had been sniffing aerosols with a group of friends and the victim, a 12-year-old girl.
The pair had been in a relationship for about six months at the time of the attack.
Between 2am and 3am, the victim and her friend decided to leave because the group had become intoxicated, but they didn’t get far.
Chief Justice Grant said a machete had been found earlier in the night, and as the victim was walking away, the youth said to his friend, “Give me that machete because I have to bash that little girl for not listening to me.”
“You then took the machete and walked after the victim. When you caught up with her, you swung the machete at the victim striking her in the right upper arm,” Chief Justice Grant said.
“You then stood over the victim and continued to strike her with the machete in a chopping motion. You used the flat side of the machete to slap the victim on the side of her torso and upper legs.
“When the victim moved her arms to protect her torso and legs, you struck her with the sharp edge of the machete in a chopping motion to her face and head region.
“The girl’s friend tried to hold you, but you broke away from her and attempted to strike the girl again with the machete.
“Fortunately, you missed. The friend eventually managed to push you away. That was the only reason you stopped attacking that girl.”
The young girl suffered severe lacerations to her skull and arms, broken knuckles in her right hand and multiple severed tendons in both hands. She was kept in hospital for a month and required splints and hand therapy away from home to regain the function of her hands.
The youth pleaded guilty to his charges which carry a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.
However, Chief Justice Grant handed down a two-year sentence, suspended on the proviso the youth return to an outstation and stay away from the victim and her family.
The youth will also have to undergo drug and alcohol testing and refrain from sniffing aerosols.