A MAGISTRATE has told a teenager his days of being punished as a child are over, sentencing him to six months jail in an adult prison.
The teenager, who appeared in a Children’s Court and a Magistrate’s Court yesterday, pleaded guilty to a number of charges that arose from a string of offences dating back to 2009.
The teenager, who is now old enough to be sentenced as an adult, has previously spent time in a youth detention centre, but never an adult jail.
He has spent 40 days in custody and cannot be named for legal reasons.
In weighing up whether to sentence the teenager to an adult or youth prison, the magistrate said the teenager had been a “great disappointment”, in that he had been given chances before, but failed to stop offending.
The teenager broke a youth supervision order, did not comply with bail, drove while unlicensed, and burgled houses and shops while he was on a good behaviour bond.
“I gave him a great chance last year, but he let me down within weeks, not years, not months, but weeks,” said the magistrate.
“I was far, far too lenient. I was crazy. He deserved a chance but he has blown it.”
The teenager’s defence lawyer argued against a sentence in an adult prison, claiming it would do more harm than good.
“Nobody comes out of an adult jail better than what they went in,” the lawyer said.
“He is still a very young man. He’s about to lose his liberty which he is very upset about.”
While weighing up the decision of where to send the teenager, the magistrate stood down from the bench for almost two hours.
Upon returning, the magistrate said it was a tough decision, but the adult system was most appropriate as previous youth sentences appeared to have no impact on the teenager.
“I don’t think you’ve benefited at all from the dispositions extended to you in the Children’s Court,” said the magistrate.
“The time has come to leave the youth system and go to adult prison.”
The teenager pleaded guilty to nine charges in the Magistrate’s Court, including theft, burglary and unlawful assault.
In the Children’s Court he faces eight charges, including affray and assault.
He was sentenced to serve six months prison, with the Magistrate’s and Children’s Court sentences to be served at the same time.
He is expected to face further sentencing next week.