Violent rapist escaped bail facility
A VIOLENT teenage rapist who attacked a 13-year-old girl in the streets of Katherine while out on bail for another sex attack did a runner from his bail facility and was missing for 10 hours on the streets of Darwin last week.
The Supreme Court heard on Wednesday that the 16 year old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to indecent assault and rape last year but is on bail awaiting sentence.
He removed his electronic monitoring device and police took until midday the next day to find him.
Crown Prosecutor Matt Nathan SC said the teen posed a "clear risk" to the community and said "the nature of that risk" was "serious".
Mr Nathan said the teenager appeared "quite easily influenced by a group of other youths" who had also planned to leave the facility.
The teen pleaded guilty in May to rape and indencent assault charges, and is facing seperate charges stemming from the November fire and riot at Don Dale, shortly after which he was released.
Chief Justice Michael Grant said: "I think the view that he could be safely managed at (the facility) was overly optimistic".
He said of the teen's return to the facility: "It's a risk, but it's a question of balancing the risk".
"Where he didn't re-offend other than the property damage involved in removing the electronic monitoring device ... I'm loathe to remand him incustody."
Chief Justice Grant granted the teen bail with a requirement that authorities are to bring him before the Supreme Court as soon as practicable if he breached it again.
He said if the teen breached his bail again he would likely be sent back to Don Dale to ahead of his sentencing for the sex attacks.
"What that means is if you run off, they're going to hold you in the police cells or at Don Dale," Chief Justice Grant said.
"I'm not going to listen to any excuses like, 'those other blokes made me do it'."
Justice Trevor Riley is due to sentence the teen at a later date, and said in May he would likely have the teen locked up.
"There has to be a serious penalty for serious offending," he said.