Teen involved in Adelaide shopping centre fight given home detention bail (2024)

In short:

One of three teenage boys charged over an incident that triggered a lockdown at a suburban Adelaide shopping centre has been given home detention.

The court today heard the boy denied any use of a machete.

What's next?

All three boys will return to court in August.

A teenage boy who allegedly wielded a machete during a brawl that sent the Westfield Marion shopping centre into lockdown last month has been granted home detention bail.

Today, the 15-year-old from Morphett Vale faced the Adelaide Youth Court charged with aggravated affray, aggravated theft and aggravated assault.

Two other boys — a 15-year-old and 16-year-old — also faced similar charges over the altercation police said were between two groups of youths.

None of the charged teens can be identified for legal reasons.

Prosecutors previously told the court the teenager accused of wielding a machete had received a suspended sentence a month before the incident at the shopping centre for offending including assault.

The court previously heard the Morphett Vale boy was found in possession of a stolen hoodie, but police did not find a machete.

In the Adelaide Youth Court on Thursday, his lawyer Kassandra Girolamo said her client denied "any use of a machete" and "any assault or physical contact made with another youth".

"It's clear from the facts that another group of youths are the ones that have approached [the defendant] and the co-accused," she said.

"It's this older group of youths who have agitated, essentially an argument, in the food court at Marion."

Teen involved in Adelaide shopping centre fight given home detention bail (1)

Ms Girolamo said while her client accepted that it was antisocial to engage in arguments or fights in a shopping centre, it was "not uncommon" and would not ordinarily result in "mass panic".

"Ultimately I don't say that this behaviour is right, but what I do say is that it was outside of the realm of anything that could have been considered by these youths as to what might have happened following this incident," she said.

"[The defendant] had no idea that the amount of fear and panic that had been caused had even occurred until hours later.

"By the time Marion had gone into lockdown and precautions had been taken to the extent that they had been, [the defendant] and his co-offenders, and even the alleged victims in this matter had already left the shopping centre."

Ms Girolamo said the defence team was still waiting to review "compelling evidence" including CCTV of the incident.

"The prosecution case relies on [the victims'] complaints … in my respectful submission they may not be the most reliable people in this matter to be providing evidence to the court," she said.

"The CCTV will be make or break, in my submission, for the prosecution case."

Teen to live with mother

The court heard the Morphett Vale teenager was currently serving a suspended sentence for offending that included assault, thefts and possession of a knife, which had only been handed down a month prior to the incident.

Ms Girolamo argued the court could have confidence that the teenager would comply with home detention bail, given he would be living in a stable environment with his mother.

She said since sentencing for the prior offending was handed down he had been living with a friend, which had created "some instability".

"He is a young boy … and it isn't a situation where he is too far gone and he is at risk of, if there is a lengthy remand in this matter, becoming institutionalised," she said.

"This may be the opportunity for [the defendant] to remain at one address and really start engaging and turning things around."

Teen involved in Adelaide shopping centre fight given home detention bail (2)

The prosecution had opposed all forms of bail for the teenager, given the seriousness of the offending and the breach of his suspended sentence obligation.

Magistrate Tracee Micallef granted the 15-year-old strict home detention bail.

"There is evidence that a stable environment leads to [the defendant] having no further offending and it is for this reason only I am granting home detention bail on this occasion," Ms Micallef said.

The prosecutor requested the defendant not be allowed to contact either of the co-accused as part of his bail conditions, which Ms Micallef accepted.

"If you come before me again there will be no way I'll grant you bail," she told the teenager.

"There will be no further opportunities given to you."

Ms Girolamo withdrew an application for home detention bail for the 16-year-old – who the court previously heard was experiencing homelessness – due to there being no address currently available for the teenager to reside at.

Counsel for the other 15-year-old also withdrew his bail application.

The matter returns to court next month.

Teen involved in Adelaide shopping centre fight given home detention bail (2024)


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