Geraldton pregnant teenage thief given conditional release order for ‘another opportunity in the community’

Headshot of Fraser Williams
Fraser WilliamsGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Courthouse.
Camera IconGeraldton Courthouse. Credit: Mal Fairclough/The West Australian

A Geraldton teenager has been given a conditional release order over a string of stealing offences.

The 16-year-old appeared in Geraldton’s Children’s Court via video link, pleading guilty to stealing and breach of bail.

The girl’s lawyer told the court she was three weeks pregnant.

Police prosecutor Sgt Paul Burkinshaw told the court a 23-year-old female victim was sitting on the sidewalk in front of the Geraldton Hotel while waiting for a taxi.

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The teenager approached with two other co-accused and snatched a mobile phone out of her hand then ran away.

Sgt Burkinshaw said when the victim attempted to call her phone, “the accused answered and taunted her and made threats if she ever saw her again”.

The girl and co-accused took photos and videos on the stolen phone.

In a further incident, the teenager stole a handbag from the backseat of a parked car while the co-accused distracted the victim in the driver’s seat.

Sgt Burkinshaw told the court that detention was the “only option”.

“This series of offending is still a series of offending . . . Some of these people have not been in a position to protect their property,” he said.

Magistrate Angus Hockton warned the girl how serious the matters were.

“If you were an adult it would see you seeing serious terms of imprisonment,” he said.

“You didn’t remain compliant to your order . . . You don’t have an extensive record but you have a serious record.”

Mr Hockton said that stealing a phone was not a light issue for the victims.

“Phones are precious to people, not just the value but they have an emotional attachment,” he said.

“When you steal someone’s phone, that has a real impact on them, not just the financial value of it.”

Mr Hockton placed the girl on a conditional release order for five months, saying: “I’m going to give you another opportunity in the community.

“You are a 16-year-old and you are pregnant with your child . . . This is an opportunity to give your child a loving and nurturing environment that a child should have.”

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