Teen who 'hit 80-year-old with crowbar' refused appeal

·3-min read

Hearing a noise late at night, an 80-year-old woman left her bedroom to investigate.

Moments later a 17-year-old intruder jumped out of his hiding place and struck her forehead with a crowbar.

Despite suffering an 8cm wound above her eye, the elderly woman was able to wrestle the crowbar from the teenager before sitting down - and apologising.

Placing the crowbar next to her, the woman told the teen: "I'm so sorry. I don't have any money - I'm poor".

She then embraced the teen, saying: "I wish I could help you".

The woman's forehead was "bleeding profusely" so the teen helped get a cloth for her injury and then found her phone so she could call emergency services.

The teen and two juvenile co-offenders left before police arrived.

The home invasion was among a string of offences spanning almost eight months from August 2021 committed in Queensland by the teen.

The 80-year-old was seriously assaulted in March 2022 just weeks after the teen had been released on bail, according to a Queensland Court of Appeal judgment published on Friday.

He had earlier been remanded in custody for serious offences in Mount Isa, in the state's northwest, including the armed robbery of a taxi driver after a high speed pursuit.

In November 2021 the teen and two others were in a stolen car during an evening crime spree.

At one stage they drove past the Mount Isa Police Station and beeped the horn in an effort to get them to engage in a pursuit, later yelling "f*** the police" at a passing patrol car.

They then "hunted and chased" a taxi driver, reaching speeds of 100km/h, after the teen had hit the cab with a metallic baseball bat.

The cab was hit in the rear by the stolen car during the chase before crashing into a light pole at 70km/h.

The teen then hit the cab multiple times with the bat, demanding money from the "trapped" taxi driver who handed over almost $200.

The teen pleaded guilty to almost 30 violence, property and driving offences in Townsville Childrens Court in September 2022.

He was sentenced to 20 months' detention, to be released after serving 10 months.

Convictions were recorded for armed robbery in company and assault occasioning bodily harm for the most serious offending relating to the taxi driver and the 80-year-old respectively, with the judge referring to "exceptional circumstances".

However, the teen took his case to the Court of Appeal, saying the judge erred in exercising discretion to record convictions.

Defence lawyers argued the sentencing judge's reference to "exceptional circumstances" was a specific error, also claiming the teen's significantly disadvantaged background was not considered.

The teen had a "tragic upbringing" and been diagnosed with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder as well as an intellectual disability.

But the judgment on Friday said there was no basis to conclude there was any error in the exercise of discretion to record convictions and the teen was refused leave to appeal his sentence.