5 February 2023

Weston Creek skatepark stabber remitted to lower court over alleged murder trial reprisal attack

| Albert McKnight
Coat of Arms

The teenager acquitted of murder at the Weston Creek skatepark is in court facing other charges. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The teenager acquitted of killing a man at the Weston Creek skatepark has had a charge alleging he committed a reprisal attack against a witness in his murder trial sent back to a lower court.

The now-18-year-old was scheduled to be sentenced by the ACT Supreme Court on Friday (3 February) after originally pleading guilty to charges of reprisal against a person involved in a proceeding, burglary, assault, theft and damaging property.

It had been alleged he burgled the home of a witness who had given evidence in his murder trial, where a woman was also assaulted, about a month after he was sentenced for stabbing a boy at the skatepark.

But his lawyer Peter Bevan said his client no longer maintained his plea to the witness retribution charge and wanted it remitted back to the ACT Children’s Court.

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The teen has spent nearly five months in custody over the fresh allegations after being arrested in September 2022 and refused bail that December.

Mr Bevan said he also wanted to make a new bail application, arguing there was a change in the teen’s circumstances that could warrant another application as his sentencing would not be finalised on Friday.

“I couldn’t regard that as a significant change,” Chief Justice Lucy McCallum told him.

She said the teen was plainly facing the prospect of a custodial sentence, having “quickly and emphatically” breached the good behaviour order he was on.

The bail application did not proceed.

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The chief justice ordered the reprisal charge be remitted back to the Children’s Court for a mention next week and the other charges to be stood over. All matters will come before her again in April.

In 2022, a jury in a Supreme Court trial found the teen not guilty of murdering an 18-year-old man during a fight at the skatepark on 27 September, 2020, when he was just 15 years old.

He did admit stabbing a 16-year-old boy during the brawl, for which he was handed a suspended sentence and a two-year good behaviour order.

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