Three youths allegedly involved in the hit-and-run that resulted in the death of Shane Powell will have their matters heard in the Northern Territory Supreme Court.
The 47-year-old motorcyclist died in Alice Springs a week after he was struck in an alleged hit-and-run in October last year.
Two 19-year-old men and three youths — aged 13, 15 and 16 at the time — have since been charged with hit-and-run causing serious harm and failing to rescue or provide help.
Today, Judge Sarah McNamara transferred the matter out of the Youth Justice Court, saying it was “too serious” and “too complicated” to be heard in that forum.
She told the court the alleged offending posed an “extreme danger” to the Alice Springs community and it was a case of “great significance” to the town.
“The conduct alleged was a sustained course of extremely dangerous driving of a stolen car over a period of time that put members of the community at extreme risk, and in fact resulted in great tragedy,” she said.
“The offending occurred at a time when joyriding in stolen cars is extremely prevalent in Alice Springs and this court sees multiple matters involving that very same conduct on an almost daily basis.
“The prevalence of this offending raises the seriousness of it.
“The alleged conduct also had a callous disregard for the victim, no assistance was rendered after he was struck.”
In handing down the reasons for her decision, Judge McNamara said that hearing the adult and youth matters separately would also give the public a perception of “injustice”.
“If the matters are contested and remain in separate jurisdictions, then witnesses may be required to attend hearings in the youth court, preliminary examinations in the local court and or trials in the supreme court … the burden that would create for witnesses is highly undesirable and should be avoided.”
She said it was also important that only one judge consider the case because “the interests of justice will not be served by a multiplicity of proceedings”.
The five teenagers are yet to enter a plea.
The three youths return to court on Thursday, while the 19-year-olds will return at a later date.
Source: Thanks msn.com