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Geraldton lawyer slams process that saw 10-year-old boy arrested and spend night in custody

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
Defence lawyer George Giudice outside Geraldton Courthouse.
Camera IconDefence lawyer George Giudice outside Geraldton Courthouse. Credit: Liam Beatty/The Geraldton Guardian

A Geraldton lawyer has highlighted his alarm with a police process that saw a 10-year-old Geraldton boy arrested on Wednesday and spend the night in custody.

The 10-year-old appeared from custody in Geraldton Children’s Court on Thursday for a breach of curfew, two counts of burglary and stealing.

Police allege the boy was in the company of three other males when they used bolt cutters to break three padlocks and attempted to steal a bike.

It’s further alleged he was involved in the attempted stealing of an off-road motorcycle in a separate incident, in both instances the group was unsuccessful and fled.

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While on another occasion, it’s alleged the boy and co-offenders gained entry to Champion Bay Senior High School by cutting a chain link fence.

Once inside, they forced opened a door to the library, stealing $5 cash and a laser pointer.

Defence lawyer George Giudice outlined his application for bail.

The court was told there was an application to drop the charges, which will be dealt with at the next appearance.

“I am somewhat perturbed at what occurred this morning,” Mr Giudice said.

The court was told Mr Giudice wrote to the prosecution on September 13, stating they could not prove the 10-year-old had criminal responsibility.

He also highlighted the fact WA Labor passed a motion at its State conference last year to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 years to 14 years.

Mr Giudice said it was not in the public interest to criminalise the boy, who had no prior record.

“Because he is subject to bad influences by old people,” he said.

The court was told the boy was arrested on Wednesday for breaching his curfew and spent the night in lockup.

Mr Giudice said no one attempted to contact his office, despite him acting for the 10-year-old in the past.

Magistrate Angus Hockton agreed to grant the boy bail, acknowledging he had ended up in custody through no fault of his own.

Under his bail conditions he is not to associate with his co-accused and must abide by a 7pm to 7am curfew.

He will reappear in Geraldton Children’s Court on November 1.

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