Mackay teen punches 67-year-old woman in the face
A TEENAGER has sidestepped the court process at the 11th hour over a serious assault after he punched a 67-year-old woman in the face.
A Children's Court of Queensland sitting in Mackay heard the victim had agreed to take part in restorative justice with the now-18 year old over the incident, which occurred on November 3 last year at Sarina.
The case was listed as a judge-only trial but on the morning it was set to go ahead the court heard there had been developments and the teen boy would instead plead guilty.
"I've had some conversations with the complainant, who at the time of charging was reluctant in regards to a restorative justice order, but has now indicated a desire for that process to take place," Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand said.
Little is known about what actually led to the serious assault against a person over 60 save that it was a single punch to the face and the teen has no criminal history.
"It's unnecessary for me to really set out the facts, particularly what led up to the incident itself, which was a punch," Judge Brian Devereaux said.
Because the assault occurred when the teen was aged 17 he must be treated as a juvenile offender and legally cannot be identified.
Defence barrister Scott McLennan, for the teen, said his client was willing to participate in the process.
Restorative justice will involve a conference between the teen and the victim to discuss what happened, the effects of the offence and repairing the harm caused to the victim through a restorative justice agreement.
Mr Le Grand told the court the agreement could include remedial actions and activities intended to strengthen the child's relationship with their family and community and educational programs.
"Those are what the complainant has indicated are strong desires on her part to form part of the restorative justice agreement," Mr Le Grand said.
This means the teen will avoid coming back to court so long as he complies with the restorative justice process.
"It would be a useful thing, not just for you but, it seems, for the woman you punched and for the community as a whole," Judge Devereaux said.
"It might include you being told to take part in come activities and education programs designed to help you understand the harm you've caused... and take responsibility."