News

Boy sentenced over assault on police officer in Shepparton

By Liz Mellino

A boy who punched a policeman, resulting in the officer being hospitalised and having time off work, was given a probation order in a Children’s Court yesterday.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to a four-month probation order following an altercation in north Shepparton in March.

The court previously heard in the early hours of March 24 the boy, who was 16 at the time of the offence, had been asked to move on after a house party in a nearby street was shut down by police.

An altercation then occurred, with the boy striking the police officer to the side of the head, causing him to fall to the ground and collapse sideways.

Following the incident, the boy served 15 days in custody and has been on supervised bail since April 5.

When addressing the court yesterday, the prosecutor said he believed a good behaviour bond would be an ‘‘inadequate’’ sentence for such an offence.

She pushed for a youth supervision order to be given to the boy, stating adult offenders who committed a similar act would receive mandatory sentencing.

‘‘A good behaviour bond does not address anything for the victim or the young person,’’ the prosecutor said.

‘‘(Youth supervision orders) provide structure and support . . . (the boy) has demonstrated through supervised bail he is on a path to rehabilitation and that structure and support needs to be obtained to continue his good work.’’

The prosecutor referred to the victim impact statement of the officer, saying the effect of the boy’s actions on the police officer were described in the statement and should be taken into consideration by the magistrate.

‘‘The court has the opportunity to show their support to the police and demonstrate their support,’’ she said.

‘‘Police don’t go to work to be viciously assaulted, the member was rendered unconscious.’’

The magistrate said she took into account the boy’s time served in custody and his two months spent on supervised bail.

She said a good behaviour bond would be too low of a sentence for the offence, instead agreeing a short probation period would be appropriate.

‘‘There have been horrendous consequences for the victim, the gravity of the matter needs to be weighed for moral culpability and the consequences,’’ the magistrate said.

‘‘I believe that it is reasonably likely (the boy) will not come back to this court.’’