A 17-year-old girl has been released from custody on probation after pleading guilty to charges over a car crash that killed 22-year-old motorcyclist Jennifer Board in Townsville in north Queensland.
- The 17-year-old girl was a passenger in a stolen vehicle being chased by an alleged vigilante driver
- She pleaded guilty in court today to five counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and one count of stealing
- The teenager told the magistrate she would not be before the courts again
The teenager appeared via video link in the Children’s Court in Townsville on Thursday morning.
Police told the court the 17-year-old was a passenger in a stolen vehicle that was being chased by an alleged vigilante driver.
The car driven by the alleged vigilante struck and killed Ms Board on Friday night.
The stolen car fled the scene and was later found burnt-out.
The 17-year-old girl was arrested on Sunday night and taken into custody.
She pleaded guilty in court today to five counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and one count of stealing.
Magistrate Viviana Keegan read the facts and said the girl had been involved in the unlawful use of five separate vehicles and stole petrol from a service station over a three-day period.
Police prosecutor Kelly Mythen told the court the teenager should be subject to further detention for the seriousness of the offences.
“This is offending that has been prevalent in the community for some time now,” Ms Mythen said.
The court heard the 17-year-old girl had been sentenced for unlawful use of a motor vehicle on four occasions more than two years ago.
Ms Keegan rejected the proposal for further detention, noting the law deemed detention as a last resort for juveniles.
“She has stayed out of trouble, which is a huge thing — it shows a young person is doing the right thing or trying,” Ms Keegan said.
“I haven’t heard what has happened over the last week for this to all derail.”
‘You can stop it’
Lawyers representing the teenager asked the magistrate to acknowledge the time passed since the girl’s last offences, her cooperation with police, and early plea of guilty.
The court also heard the teenager was a victim of domestic violence.
The girl was sentenced to eight months’ probation and ordered to participate in restorative justice programs, during which she would meet the victims of her crimes.
Ms Keegan asked the teenager to use her probationary period as an opportunity to “seek help” and “make better decisions”.
The teenager told Ms Keegan she would not be before the courts again.