Boy to face hotel owner

A BOY, 13, who broke into Rockhampton's Ascot Hotel in late May is set to face the venue's owner Will Cordwell.

Yesterday, Magistrate Annette Hennessy directed the youngster to attend a youth justice conference.

This is a meeting which brings a young person and their family together with the victim (if they wish to attend) as well as a police officer.

The aim is for them to come up with an agreement about how the youth can begin to repair the harm caused by the offence.

Appearing before Ms Hennessey in the Children's Court at Rockhampton, the boy, who cannot be identified and who had entered an earlier guilty plea, was warned if he didn't change his ways he could find himself in a detention centre.

His matter has been adjourned to mid-August to see how the conference goes.

The court heard he was among a group of youths who broke into the hotel between 11.45pm and 11.55pm on May 29.

About $1200, cigarettes and bottles of alcohol were taken.

The youth was positively identified on CCTV footage.

Defence solicitor Shayne Studdert said as many as 10 youths were involved.

He said the youth pocketed $20 and a packet of cigarettes from the break-in with these items since returned to police.

The court heard the youth, who also appeared on a number of other charges, did not have a significant criminal history.

Mr Cordwell, who will today meet Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten about the problem of youth crime in the city, isn't holding his breath the conference will work.

“Over the years I've had between eight and 10 of these conferences,” Mr Cordwell said.

“I've always agreed to meet but not one of them has ever turned up. Most of the time something happens in between or they are away.”

Meanwhile, The Morning Bulletin would like to correct a report in yesterday's edition which said this youth was involved in stealing a ute from the Ascot Hotel on the weekend, which was not the case.



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