Parents’ angst as 14yo son breaks in, steals from homes

IN DESPERATION a Gladstone couple took to sleeping in their son's bed to stop him sneaking out to break-in and steal from homes.

Despite police pleas not to grant bail until he was sentenced for new crimes, Children's Court magistrate Penelope Hay granted the 14-year-old his freedom with strict conditions, making it very clear it would be the lad's final chance.

Ms Hay imposed strict night curfews that he must not leave his family home between 5.30pm and 6.30am.

To allay the fears of prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi, the magistrate said police would be knocking at the teen's front door overnight at any time.

If he did not present himself to them he would be taken into custody.

The teen pleaded guilty to committing more break-ins and thefts just days after being released on probation for prior break-ins and thefts.

He is charged with stealing money and shoes, a Makita radio, circular saw, battery charger and four batteries.

Sgt Gangemi said the teen told police who arrested him this week: "I already have to go to court anyway so why should I stop stealing?"

Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said the boy was being "a smart aleck" when he made the comment to officers.

He said it would do him no good to spend time in a detention centre as he would be exposed to other juveniles who had done worse crimes.

He will be sentenced in four weeks.



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