A court has heard a child from Mackay spent 19 days locked up in an adult facility before being found guilty of a crime.
A court has heard a child from Mackay spent 19 days locked up in an adult facility before being found guilty of a crime. Brett Wortman

Mackay child locked in adult facility for 19 days

A CHILD from Mackay spent 19 days locked up in an adult prison facility more than 900km from home before she was found guilty of a crime.

The 15-year-old girl from Mackay pleaded guilty on Friday in Mackay Childrens Court to armed robbery with personal violence and attempted robbery.

Defence barrister Scott McLennan told the court the young girl was one of a number of children who made national news early this year when it was revealed children as young as 10 were being housed in the Brisbane watchhouse, a maximum-security holding facility that also houses adult inmates charged with the most serious crimes.

"She was one of the children who were reported in the news as spending weeks on end at the watchhouse," he said.

"That was a very difficult experience for her. There has been that shock of being in the watchhouse and then (juvenile) detention afterwards.

"She spent a couple of days in the Mackay watchhouse, another 19 days in the Brisbane City watchhouse and then two weeks in Brisbane Youth Detention."

The court heard the girl hit an attendant with a bottle of alcohol as she robbed a West Mackay bottle store on December 26, 2018. The next day, she "punched and scratched" a shop assistant and kicked another as she attempted to steal from a clothing store.

These offences were committed while the child was on a probation order.

Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand told the court the child had a recent criminal history which "spoke for itself". He said the 34 days the child spent in custody was a "significant punishment" and suggested a supervised order be implemented from today.

The court heard the child had successfully participated in a course targeted at youth involved in violent crime and had not committed further offences. Mr McLennan said he believed it would be "inappropriate not to" apply a sentence that included supervision clause and would not be in the child or the community's best interest.

Judge Brian Devereaux told the child her behaviour was "terrible".

"I agree the best way to deal with your case is to put you on probation again," he said.

He sentenced the child to 12 months on probation and made a restorative justice order.


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