Violent threats won’t stop me, assaulted schoolgirl vows
A teenager accused of knocking out a schoolgirl's teeth during a violent assault has been rearrested after allegedly threatening to "cave in" her victim's replacement dental work.
But the alleged victim, 13, has answered the new threat with a vow of her own - saying neither the assault nor continued bullying will stop her returning to school.
In a brave stand, the schoolgirl told The Advertiser she would not be intimidated by a violent, foul-mouthed Instagram video allegedly posted by one of her attackers yesterday.
"I want to go back as soon as possible," she said on Thursday.
"If I could, I would go back tomorrow."
The disturbing video prompted police to charge the alleged attacker, 14, with a second count of aggravated assault - just as her alleged co-accused, 15, was facing the Youth Court.
Prosecutors urged the court to exercise caution when considering whether to bail the 15-year-old, saying she had "quite concerningly laughed" about the incident upon her arrest.
The duo, who cannot be named, have yet to plead to charges including multiple, aggravated counts of assault and breaching bail.
Their charges arise from their alleged conduct during and after an assault upon a girl, 13, outside the Gilles Plains Shopping Centre on Tuesday.
The alleged victim who just started high school, will need at least a month to recover from a concussion and spinal damage.
She also lost two front teeth and doctors believe she will need further dental reconstructive work that will take at least 12 months to heal.
On Thursday, she told The Advertiser she was "feeling better" and "very supported" by her school friends.
"Most of my friends I haven't known for a long amount of time, but they've made the effort to come visit me, which is good," she said.
Following the duo's arrest, the 14-year-old was granted police bail and remanded to face the Youth Court in March.
Yesterday, she posted a video to Instagram in which she called the alleged victim a "little sl**" and said "wait 'til I see her again".
"I'll cave her next teeth in," she said.
The filming ends after the girl inhales from what appears to be a bong, and then blows smoke at the camera.
The video prompted police to attend the girl's bail address, where she was arrested and charged with breaching bail and threatening to cause serious harm.
A court date has yet to be set for those charges.
Meanwhile, the 15-year-old - who did not apply for police bail - appeared in the Youth Court and asked to be released into her father's care.
Prosecutors said they did not oppose the girl's release on bail but asked she be subject to strict conditions given her recent criminal history.
"She's facing the same charge over another incident, and that's yet to finalise," they said.
"That was a similar, unprovoked attack in Rundle Mall … the victim in that incident was also kicked and punched.
"She has breached her bail in relation to that offending."
They said the girl had "made full admissions" to police upon her arrest.
"She said the incident was in response to a racist comment put on Instagram," they said.
"Quite concerningly, throughout the record of interview she laughed about the allegations."
Counsel for the girl said she was a suitable candidate for bail.
"She will move (away from the city) to live with her father … that distance from the victim and the co-accused will ameliorate any risk of reoffending," they said.
"She is certainly not returning to the school."
Magistrate Luke Davis said he was "open-minded" to bail but wanted further information, and ordered an inquiry report from social workers.
"Something is happening in your life that is causing you to go off the rails," he said.
"I need to know what that is before I let you out … I don't want to let you out and have you end up back in trouble."
He remanded her in custody to a further hearing next week.
Outside court, the 15-year-old's father said he wanted "to say sorry to the victim".
"There was a racist comment but (my daughter) has been hanging around with the wrong people," he said.
"I want to say sorry to the victim … I can't even look at photos of what happened to her, they make me feel sick."
Victim's family in shock
The pair is accused of leaving the girl bloodied and distraught after assaulting her at Gilles Plains Shopping Centre on Tuesday afternoon.
The young girl, who just started high school, will need at least a month to recover from a concussion and spinal damage. She also lost two front teeth and doctors believe she will need further dental reconstructive work that will take at least 12 months to heal.
Her mother told The Advertiser her daughter looked like "she'd been beaten by a man".
"All I could hear was this bloodcurdling noise screaming 'Mummy, help me,' and I couldn't do anything about it," she said.
The mother rushed to the centre "in about 30 seconds" after someone at the scene answered the girl's phone during the attack.
"I could hear her screaming from the carpark … she was covered in blood. When I got there, I was hysterical.
"That screaming for my help has been playing in my head for the last 24 hours.
"(But) a student nurse put (the girl's) teeth in milk, which may have saved them. I cannot show my appreciation for that girl enough."
On Wednesday night, the Year 8 girl was recovering at home from the horrific injuries after being discharged from the Women's and Children's Hospital. She is sensitive to light and mild noises.
The mother said the family is unsure if the young girl will return to her northeastern-suburbs high school, where severe bullying "got full on" last week.
"By the time I knew this was happening and that she was getting threats," she said.
"She had teachers walking her to and from class."
The mother claims the school told her to take her daughter home "for her own safety" while they worked on a solution.
The girl's father told 9 News his family was worried it would be "under threat in their own home".
He said he wanted to raise awareness of bullying in Adelaide schools.
"I'm lucky enough to still have my daughter," he said.
"Turning up to what I saw outside of McDonalds at Gilles Plains, the reality kicked in later that evening when I was driving home from the hospital - that I'm still lucky to have her.
"I thought about the children that have committed suicide over things like this. No one knows their experience and they're not able to tell their story.
"Now that we've got the chance, I'm going to get the (anti-bullying) message across quite strongly."
The principal of the girl's school said she had addressed all the school's students in the wake of the attack to "reiterate our policies and methods of dealing with poor behaviour in and out of the school".
The Education Department said the school was investigating the incident, taking appropriate disciplinary action, and offering the girl and her family support.
But the mother said her daughter - a hardworking student with good grades - was so traumatised she might not leave the house.
"She was just getting that little bit of freedom that comes with being a teenager, and now I don't know if I'll ever let her go out again," she said.
Education Minister John Gardner called it an "absolutely appalling incident".
"The footage we've seen and the discussion we've had with parents - a phone call like that is one that no one ever wants to receive or even think about receiving," he said.
He said the girl's needs "came first" if she wished to return to the school.
The two charged students have been suspended but Mr Gardner did not confirm if the suspension would last until their court dates or if they would be expelled.
A friend of the family has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the girl's medical expenses.
As of Thursday morning, it had raised almost $19,000.