Violence by teens puts all at risk

Teenagers of the North East have been turning to violence by settlingarguments with their fists and walkingaround the streets with knives.
Nanjing Night Net

But magistrateDavid Faram has warned these measures would only put the young people and others in the community at more risk.

A North East Children’s Court this week heard a 17-year-old boy was scared to walk along the streetwithout a knife for protection.

He had not needed to use the weapon in a fight, but turned it over to police when they stopped him at 3.20am in October last year.

The boy told them “I don’t like walking at night without one”.

He was fined $500 after it was revealed he was already on probation for previous weapons offences.

“You don’t carry a knife unless you think there are circumstances where you think you’ll have to use it,” MrFaram said. “If he’s walking around at night feeling unsafe, there is an enormous risk of doing something to escalate a situation.”

The defence barrister said the 17-year-old was not living with his family at the time.

“I know there was a very high risk in carrying it, itwas a stupid decision,” the boy told the court.

In a separate case, a 17-year-old punched another boy in the face as they fought outside a secondary college in August.

The argument had started over Facebook, and included insults back and forth and an invitation to fight.

The boy told the court he had friends who had committed suicide because of bullying and confronted the victim because he did not want to see it happen again.

He admitted he would be better to give “moral support” next time.

MrFaram said the fight should never have occurred and teenagers needed to realise that “words mean nothing”.

“People saying silly things on Facebook is never a reason,” he said. “This sort of garbage has to stop.

“Dealing with the loss of friends is hard, but you’ll get there –time fixes everything.”

The teenager was placed on a nine-month youth supervision order.

An 18-year-old woman was also placed on a three-month youth supervision order for assaulting two people walking her home from a party in August.

She threw a female to the ground and punched her to the nose, two days after their relationship ended, then pushed another male’s head through a fence.

The court ordered she also pay back the $594 in damage caused to the fence.

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