Bid to revoke teen’s bail rejected

A Cunnamulla teenager with a “disturbing criminal history” will remain on bail after a failed application by police to have it revoked.

Indigenous 15-year-old “Jason” was bailed on 10 May 2024 in Toowoomba Children’s Court, prompting the application under s 19B of the Bail Act 1980 (Qld). The application cited an unacceptable risk that the boy would, whether alone or with others, break and enter houses and steal cars.

In his Supreme Court of Brisbane decision delivered on Friday, Justice Davis stated that between October 2021 and April 2024, Jason had been convicted on no less than 12 separate occasions.

“He is a serial burglar and thief of motor vehicles,” he said.

“He has also been convicted of stealing, public nuisance, wilful damage by graffiti, attempted robbery with actual violence whilst armed and in company, breaches of bail, unlawful entry of a vehicle for the purpose of committing an indictable offence, obstructing a police officer and wilful damage of police property.”

Justice Davis said the current offending was allegedly committed on 5 May 2024, while Jason was subject to an eight-month probation order made on 3 October 2023, a six-month good behaviour bond made on 21 December 2023, and a four-month detention order to be served by way of a six-month conditional release order made on 4 April 2024.


He said that between 12.15am and 6am on 5 May 2024, Jason was allegedly party to five counts of burglary, seven counts of attempted burglary, one count of unlawfully entering a motor vehicle, one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, and one charge of stealing petrol.

The teen was bailed on conditions including weekly reporting, a curfew, living in Cunnamulla, and staying out of Toowoomba except for court purposes, but Justice Davis said he had no transcript of the Acting Magistrate’s reasons for granting bail.

He said under the Youth Justice Act 1992 (Qld), there was a presumption in favour of granting bail to a child, and that bail must be refused if there is an unacceptable risk that “the child will commit an offence that endangers the safety of the community or the safety or welfare of a person”.

He said also, the court must have regard to the matters prescribed by ss 48AA(3) and (4) of the Youth Justice Act 1992 (Qld).

“The denial of bail for a 15-year-old indigenous boy with some intellectual impairment is a serious step which, by force of the Youth Justice Act, may only be taken as a last resort,” Justice Davis said.

“In my view, that point has not yet been reached.


“The conditions imposed by the learned Acting Magistrate effectively remove Jason from the Toowoomba area and therefore, his criminal minded peers, and place him in the control of his father (in Cunnamulla).

“As earlier observed, his father has offered support and has offered to report any bail breaches. The addition of a curfew which can be monitored by police will be a practical barrier to Jason’s offending in the future.

“In the circumstances, the applicant has not disturbed the presumption in favour of granting bail and the application should be dismissed.”

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