Serial teen offender likely to be found unfit to stand trial after alleged Geraldton burglary

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Liam BeattyMidwest Times
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Geraldton Courthouse.
Camera IconGeraldton Courthouse. Credit: Anita Kirkbright / The Geraldton Guardian

A Mid West teenager, accused of committing a hotel burglary in Geraldton on Sunday soon after moving to town, is likely to be found mentally unfit to stand trial and have the charges against him dropped, a court has been told.

The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was allegedly caught on CCTV footage taking $130 from the staff area at the Ocean Centre Hotel on Sunday.

Prosecutor Sgt Beau Jones said police alleged the boy attended the hotel just before noon and loitered in the lobby until staff left the area.

“He is accused of then going behind the counter and stealing money,” he said.

The teenager appeared in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court on Monday from police custody, where the court was told he had only recently moved to Geraldton and was a known serial offender.

“He is well known,” Sgt Jones said. “The community is fed up with his behaviour and lack of adherence to the law.”

“Police hold serious concerns for his safety.

“There are no conditions that can prevent him from offending.”

His lawyer told the court he had previously been found mentally unfit for trial under mental deficiency laws, which would likely happen with the current charges.

He was granted bail by Magistrate Chris Miocevich, who warned him to stop offending or else there would be no option other than to send him to Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre.

“At the end of the day these charges are likely to be dismissed,” he said. “I assume the Department for Child Protection is already doing the best they can to assist him.

“Unfortunately I suspect by the end of the week I’ll see him back here. But at this stage I’m not prepared to put him into custody.”

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