File image about youth homelessness
File image about youth homelessness Brett Wortman

Teen at end of traumatic childhood benefits from new program

A TEENAGE girl involved in an armed robbery of a Rockhampton Subway store met her victim face to face after the incident and apologised multiple times.

Juvenile C participated in a Restorative Justice Process, which is new to Queensland, where offenders come face to face with their victims in an effort to help them understand the impact their offending has on others.

Her defence barrister Matthew Heelan said the Restorative Justice Process had a positive impact on his client who apologised multiple times to the victim of the Subway robbery.

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He said Juvenile C, who was the sister of Juvenile B, had lived with her alcoholic mother off and on.

Mr Heelan said she had been in a police vehicle as officers took her mother to a station when she spoke up and confessed to the Subway robbery.

"She is coming to the end of an extremely traumatic childhood," he said.

"Her parents have continued to fail her."

Mr Heelan said her father, who her sister lives with, was violent.

He said Juvenile C had stayed with her nan when she gets sad and angry while staying with her mother, who causes stress in the house when her alcohol consumption increases on 'Centrelink day'.

"There have been periods of homelessness," Mr Heelan said.

He said she was staying at Jack's House, a hostel for homeless young people, when the Subway robbery happened.

In more recent times, Juvenile C's nan has been able to look after her and youth workers have helped.

Mr Heelan said she now aspires to do a TAFE course and become a hairdresser.

Her sister's barrister Maree Willey said Juvenile B had spent three months living with her aunt in Toowoomba to stay away from negative peers.

"There was no offending during this period," she said.

Ms Willey said her client indicated a desire to return to Toowoomba and stay away from her peers.

The court heard the aunt has agreed if Juvenile B can't sort out certain issues.

Juvenile A, represented by barrister Ross Lo Monaco, is an only child whose parents separated when she was young and she had limited contact with her father who is now deceased.

Mr Lo Monaco said she also recently lost her cultural grandmother.

An older brother was in court and had offered to support her and provide her with accommodation upon her release from custody, which the court heard was expected to occur yesterday (Wednesday) after matters were finalised in the Rockhampton Children's Court.

"I get it that none of you have had, in your young lives, the good fortune that many members of the community have had," Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said.

"I get it that your lives have not been easy.

"You have to simply stop breaking the law or you will go to detention or prison."

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