Two teens front court after stealing car and setting it on fire
TWO teenage boys who stole a $55,000 car from a Roma residence and drove it to Cunnamulla before setting it on fire have fronted the Roma Children’s Court.
The court heard on June 10, two 15-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, opened an unlocked car at a Roma home and found the keys in the middle console before driving off.
Crown prosecutor Farook Anoozer said the pair fuelled up the vehicle at the United fuel station on the Warrego Highway and drove off without paying.
The court heard, during the pair’s crime spree, they damaged an electric metre box on the side of the road.
Mr Anoozer said the following morning, they drove to Cunnamulla and refuelled again at the BP Roadhouse, and again, drove off without paying.
“When the car wouldn’t start, they decided to set fire to the car,” Mr Anoozer said.
“The car was worth $55,000 and the complainant is out of pocket.
“It was insured, however the insurance company refused to pay the complainant because they left the keys inside the car.”
The crown prosecutor told Brisbane District Court Judge Vicki Loury QC there’s a need to protect the community from this type of offending.
Judge Loury asked the crown whether this type of offending was prevalent in the Roma community.
Mr Anoozer said he was informed that just that morning cars were stolen over the weekend.
One of the 15-year-old boys, who is from St George appeared in the Roma District Court on November 30, and will undergo the restorative justice program after pleading guilty to five offences – entering a premise and committing an indictable offence – stealing, unlawful use of a motor vehicle without consent, wilful damage and two counts of stealing fuel.
Solicitor Steven Kissick told the court his client did not have a criminal history, just one caution for a minor wilful damage.
“He will certainly engage in the restorative justice program,” Mr Kissick said.
“He normally lives in St George, however during COVID, he lives in Roma with his sister and that’s where he engaged in this type of behaviour.
“His mum said his mental health has deteriorated after his brother passed away from cancer and he lost his friend from a motor vehicle accident.
“He has since gone back home to St George where he has a huge immediate extended family.”
Judge Loury said she considered the nature of the offence, harm suffered by the victim and the community’s best interests.
“I believe it would be of best interest that you undergo the restorative justice program,” Judge Loury said.
“That’s the matter for you, make sure you engage in the process and do what you agree to do and try repair the harm caused, particularly to the man who lost his car.
“Hopefully I won’t see you back here again.”
The other 15-year-old appeared via video link from the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre pleaded guilty to the same five offences and will face Brisbane Children’s Court next week.