My son, 11, is 'off the rails' - mother tells court

TWEED Heads Local Court heard yesterday how an 11-year-old boy, charged over last November's bashing of an off-duty policeman in Coolangatta, was arrested three times in separate incidents last year in the space of a month.

Yesterday the boy, accompanied by his mother, faced Tweed Heads Local Court just 11 days after being bailed in Queensland for the assault and robbery of the off-duty police officer and his girlfriend in Coolangatta on November 17.

The boy had been in custody from November 28 until January 11.

Yesterday the juvenile fronted court, facing charges for breaching his probation conditions surrounding matters dating back to July and August last year.

The court was told that last year on August 1 the boy's mother called the police after he became violent and hostile towards her when she found and removed his cannabis and home-made bong, hidden on top of a cupboard.

When the police arrived at the home they found the boy trying to escape out of his bedroom window.

Asked where the drugs came from he pointed the finger at his father and admitted he (the boy) had smoked a joint in the bushes the previous afternoon.

The boy was taken into custody.

Police recommended that he be placed on bail with a curfew and an intervention program put in place in the hope of preventing further offences being committed.

He was also wanted on a number of alleged incidents including malicious damage and assault that occurred on July 27.

On that day the boy allegedly poked a neighbour in the nose, spat in her face and destroyed fence palings. The boy was arrested, given a caution and released into the custody of his father, with his mother at her wits end, the court heard.

The next morning the father phoned the police to report that his son had run away.

A month later the boy was in trouble again when he punched his mother in the face and then spat at her.

The Juvenile Justice case worker who was present at the time helped the mother physically restrain the boy while the police were called.

He was once again arrested.

Police told the court that the mother described her son as "off the rails" and she has minimal influence or control over his behaviour.

"She has tried to get help from DOCs, mental health services, On Track and Community Health but has had a nil response from any of these services," the police said.

"He is a run-away from the family home and associating with older known offenders and is becoming increasingly involved in drugs," police told the court last August.

Yesterday in Tweed Heads Local Court the 11-year-old boy's solicitor, Cameron Bell, urged the court to allow the boy to stay in the community with his mother.

Mr Bell said jail had given the boy a "shake-up" and he "doesn't want to go back".

"He's very young and if he goes back he's likely to be in there for a very long time," Mr Bell told the court.

Magistrate Jeff Linden revoked the pervious order, placing the boy on a further 18-month probation with conditions including education "a must" counselling for anger management and to comply with Juvenile Justice supervision.

The boy faces Southport Court on February 18 in relation to the November assault of the off-duty police officer and his girlfriend in Coolangatta.



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