Emerald teen fronts open children's court due to new laws

AN Emerald teenager, who damaged property, became one of the first juvenile offenders to have his criminal matters heard in an open children's court at Rockhampton yesterday.

Controversial changes to Youth Justice laws, introduced last month, were imposed at the weekend. The changes essentially mean a repeat offender's name and their criminal history can be published.

However, Magistrate Barry Cosgrove granted name suppression for the Emerald teenager, 16, but said he might not be so lucky if he appeared in court again.

The teenager pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Children's Court to two wilful damage charges.

The charges followed him ending up in a fit of rage on December 19, 2013.

The court heard on December 29, at 10pm, the young man was at his Emerald house blasting music.

Police Prosecutor Julie Marsden said the teenager became agitated and furious when he was told to turn down the music volume.

She said he then smashed a vanity mirror in his rage and lodged a knife into a microwave.

Defence solicitor William Prizeman said his client was involved in an argument with his parents.

He also said the teenager had a tumultuous relationship with them.

In his application for name suppression, Mr Prizeman said publishing the name would have a damaging effect on his client.

He also said the charges were not serious enough.

The young man was sentenced to 12 months probation, and ordered to complete 60 hours of community service.