ACT court hears teenager who admitted stabbing another teen at Canberra park requires long-term supervision

Prosecutors have called for a long period of supervision for a boy who admitted to stabbing a teenager during a fight at the Weston skate park two years ago.

The now 17-year-old was acquitted of murder earlier this year after a jury found him not guilty of stabbing another man multiple times during the fight. 

The altercation started with an angry exchange on Snapchat, which ended with two groups descending on the skate park.

The man who died was attacked by several people as he got out of his car, but who stabbed him remains unknown.

The accused, who was only 15 at the time, admitted stabbing the man’s cousin who was on the other side of the car, and was fighting with other people.

The boy was released on bail after he was acquitted of the murder charge.

Today, Prosecutor Rebecca Christensen urged the ACT Supreme Court to take a strong approach, given the factors in the crime, including the presence of a knife and the group environment.

“There needs to be community denunciation reflected in the sentence imposed,” Ms Christensen said.

“An onerous period of supervision is necessary.”

But the boy’s lawyer, David Barrow, urged the court to consider his personal circumstances.

He told the court the boy had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder from an early age.

Mr Barrow said that pre-disposed him to impulsiveness.

He said that made it more likely for him to exercise even worse judgement than other teenagers.

“It may go some way to explain why this reckless and very dangerous behaviour was engaged in,” Mr Barrow said.

He also told the court the boy had been subjected to onerous conditions on bail and on remand.

“There has been quite substantial punishment meted out already,” he said.

The ACT’s Chief Justice Lucy McCallum will sentence the boy next month.

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