Teen fire-starter flicked urine at juvenile detention worker

A TEENAGER carried out eight assaults, started a fire, and screamed at hospital patients and staff in a series of incidents in Rockhampton and youth detention.

And these incidents were added to the offender's violent criminal record.

The teenager was sentenced in Rockhampton District Court last week for five serious assault counts, one assault occasioning bodily harm, two common assaults, one assault a police officer, one endanger property by fire and one public nuisance.

Crown prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence said the defendant yelled and spat in the face of a carer on September 22, 2018, in response to the carer saying they "had every right to leave".

The defendant pulled the victim back from the doorway by grabbing a bag strap the victim was carrying. The victim managed to leave.

Ms Lawrence said the teen attacked another support worker the following month after a disagreement about her behaviour. She threw a mobile phone at the victim, hitting them in the sternum.

"You are not f--ing leaving", the teen yelled.

Ms Lawrence said the victim slipped at the doorway and hit her head on glass.

She said the victim put her hand up to push the defendant away and the teen bit her.

The defendant then punched the victim's face several times and bruised both eyes.

Later that month, the defendant was being transported by police to Rockhampton Hospital when she tried to leave the hospital twice. She bit a Queensland Ambulance Service officer, along with a police officer's forearm as they tried to restrain her.

The defendant also kicked an officer in the chest during the struggle.

She yelled at patients and staff, leading to the public nuisance charge.

On another date, the defendant set alight kitchen window curtains, damaging the window, bench and an airconditioner.
Defence barrister Maree Willey said her client's condition deteriorated while in juvenile detention

During her stay, the teen assaulted staff on at least four occasions - one got spat in her face, another was assaulted while trying to remove a sheet tied around the defendant's neck.

She punched a staff member in the chest after she told them she wanted to die, she dropped down and banged her head on the ground and spat on a second staff member's neck.

There were two more attempted suicide and self-harm episodes where staff were assaulted with one involving the defendant locked in a cell for her safety and she urinated on the floor, flicking the urine at staff.

"The flicking of the urine on the worker was particularly disgusting," Ms Lawrence said.

Judge Michael Burnett said "disgusting" was an understatement.

Ms Lawrence said a report showed the defendant had historical trauma, had a mental health diagnosis which involved her inability to deal with stress and heightened emotions.

She said some of the offending was in response to the defendant being moved into independent living and away from support.

"She felt she was being rejected," Ms Lawrence said.

The defendant is now in shared accommodation with support from various agencies including NDIS.

Ms Lawrence said these offences followed an already violent criminal record which included two assault/obstruct police in August 2017 after police were called to an incident where the defendant was armed with a knife and threatening people, an assault on a support worker after getting angry at limited movie availability and threatened to slit police officers' throats.

The criminal history also included entering a support worker's bedroom, threatening to stab them with a cork screw, throwing a bible at them and then grabbing them in a "bear hug" before letting the victim go.

While she was at Child Safety office one day, she yelled at staff for 50 minutes, threw items around the foyer, grabbed someone by the arm and attempted to scratch them, along with kicking two large holes in the walls.

She struggled with police and threw a shoe at a Child Safety officer when they went to pick her up from the watch-house.

On another occasion, the defendant punched a support worker in the back of the head three times after they had made phone calls the teen did not agree with.

The teen had spent 347 days in juvenile detention prior to sentencing in the District Court last week.

Judge Burnett ordered the teen to the time served, plus six months' probation.

No convictions were recorded.


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