16-year-old ice user pleads guilty to more than 50 charges

A scene from the car crash on Sutton Street earlier this year. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

A scene from the car crash on Sutton Street earlier this year. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

A 16-year-old boy who allegedly stole a $90,000 luxury vehicle and crashed into an elderly couple had used the drug ice in the morning of the offence, a court heard.

Appearing in a children’s court on Tuesday, the teenager, who The Courier will not name due to legal reasons, pleaded guilty to more than 50 charges including theft, unlawful assault and multiple driving offences.

The court heard the teenager was involved in 10 car thefts across Ballarat over a period of 35 days while on a two gram-a-day ice habit.

In another incident, the court heard the accused and a co-accused, on June 24, watched a 92-year-old woman get out of her car to take her dog for a walk before following her into a Redan park.

The court heard the accused allegedly grabbed the woman in a “bear hug” before searching her pockets for her car keys. 

The accused and co-accused ran to the woman’s car, drove off and continued to commit offences. 

The car, valued at $24,000, was later found burnt out in the Canadian State Forest.

On July 7, the accused and a co-accused entered an unlocked house in Moola Street where they found two sets of car keys which they used to steal two Audi vehicles valued at a total of $180,000.

The police prosecutor said police received numerous calls about the vehicles being driven erratically around Ballarat. 

He said the following day members of the public who were walking their dog near a pine plantation in Mount Clear were forced to jump to avoid being hit by the accused who was allegedly driving erratically.

The court heard a police pursuit began shortly after near Whitehorse Avenue. Multiple cars were forced to take evasive measures to avoid hitting the car as it headed towards Sebastopol.

The Audi was seen entering the round about at Albert Street in the wrong direction before police terminated the pursuit due to excessive speed and the safety of other drivers.

Three kilometers away the car was again seen driving erratically, overtaking cars on the wrong side of Sutton Street.

The court heard the accused, who admitted to driving the vehicle, then collided with another car, trapping a 71-year-old man and woman and 12-year-old child. 

As a result of the accident the woman suffered fractures to her sternum, ribs, spin and fibula as well as a large cut on her liver.

The teenager’s defence lawyer said the first thing his client wanted to do was apologise to the victims, the police and his mother who he “feels he has let down”.

The magistrate, who said she had never “seen this type of offending over a short period of time” said she was considering a period of imprisonment and ordered a pre-sentence report.

The teenager will reappear in court for sentencing on October 12.

The Courier, Ballarat

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