Air gun victim seeks compensation

THE racially motivated shooting of a teenage boy in Rockhampton nearly four years ago was the first in a series of traumatic events that scarred his young life.

Before the 2006 Australia Day shootings, when a group of young men drove around the city firing an air rifle at people of indigenous appearance – the boy was a promising BMX rider, keen outrigger and doing okay at school.

But after being shot in the chest that day his life became a lot more painful.

His family had to move homes and the boy changed school as he struggled to come to terms with what had happened.

Following this the boy, now aged 17, became the victim of another terrifying crime.

Lying awake in his bed he watched as a burglar broke into his home and stole his PlayStation and phone.

Then he lost a good friend who committed suicide.

Last week a claim was lodged on behalf of the boy, who cannot be legally named, seeking criminal compensation against those involved in the Australia Day shootings.

Four of the five men were handed nine-month imprisonment sentences to be served as intensive correction orders for their role in the attack, while the main offender received a two-year jail term.

A psychologist’s report accompanying the claim said the boy suffers severe post-traumatic anxiety.

He’s never ridden his new BMX since, or any of the other $10,000 worth of bikes he had.

He’s fallen behind academically: firstly from missing the first part of year eight as he recovered from the injuries he suffered in the shooting; then from losing motivation in the classroom.

Even a change of school, so he didn’t have to pass the home of one of the shooters, didn’t improve things. He became isolated and fearful to go out.

The boy suffers bad dreams, panic attacks and occasionally blanks out and forgets things.

The matter will be heard on Friday, December 11 at 10am.

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