No extra jail time given to snuff film boy

AFTER rejecting a bid to increase time behind bars for a Caboolture schoolboy whose snuff film fascination led to attempted murder, Queensland's highest court has suggested law reform to catch those who distribute the "evil material".

The suggestion, directed at Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, follows months of the judiciary bucking against the Queensland Government's new anti-bikie and dangerous sex offender laws since they passed.

The 16-year-old boy was sentenced to four years detention to be released after serving half, which means he should be released in early 2014.

He stabbed a 14-year-old fellow student 12 times in their school toilets in May, 2012, after watching snuff films, where humans actually die at others' hands, and fantasising about killing people.

Earlier that year, the boy had written a short story for an English assignment in which the main character attended his high school and massacred his peers in a violent rampage before committing suicide.

The Attorney-General argued the sentencing judge erred in failing to determine that the offence was "particularly heinous" which would increase the maximum penalty from 10 years jail to life imprisonment.

After balancing many competing factors, Queensland Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo said the original sentence was not manifestly inadequate.

She said the boy was not suffering from any mental illness and "understood the wickedness of his actions" but did note his guilt and remorse for his actions.

"The completely blameless young (girl) was a hapless victim of the (boy's) irrational, morbid, adolescent fantasies," she said.

"It is frightening that "snuff" films can be so readily accessed on the internet.

"This case is a stark example of their potentially dreadful effect on troubled teenage minds.

"The appellant (Attorney-General) may wish to consider whether legislative changes or increased police resources are needed to assist in the apprehension of those who distribute such evil material."

Mr Bleijie said Queensland and the Commonwealth already had hefty fines and up to two years jail for possessing and supplying objectionable films.

"While I'm happy to consider any ways to stamp out this type of material, it would require extensive consultation and co-operation with the other states and the Federal Government," he said.

Justices John Muir and Robert Gotterson, though agreeing with the appeal ruling, noted the sentence was "very lenient".

"The attack was viciously and remorselessly pursued," Justice Muir said.

"The (victim) escaped death or serious permanent physical injury only by sheer good fortune."

The Year 9 victim was putting on make-up in the toilets when she was stabbed in the neck and upper back on May 9 last year.

When she escaped, she fell to the ground and he tried to drag her, by the feet, back in but she managed to pull free.

The boy had two more knives and a hammer in his locker.

A psychiatrist report revealed the boy began to have violent thoughts about those who had teased or victimised him in grade 3 or 4.

By the time he was in grade 8 and 9, he was researching violence to the point of watching "snuff" films, which involve the actual killing of other human beings, and he began to have suicidal thoughts.

In Year 10, he began thinking he should do something like this and towards the end of 2011 he thought about carrying out his plans.

Though he took a knife with him on twice previously occasions, he did not implement any plans until he was feeling stressed about his school work.

"He thought if he attempted to kill someone, this would relieve his stress. He might then kill more people. He wanted to know whether he would feel guilty or gain stress relief and to prove that he was not a 'wimp'," the Court of Appeal judgment noted.

The boy, aged 16, was a perfectionist about his school work and was concerned about his appearance.

He had a fascination with crime, forensic science, behavioural psychology, watched TV crime shows and researched serial killers on the internet.

He had initially fantasised about finding sexual serial killers and hurting them in a vigilante fashion.

While in detention he was completing his grade 12 studies and was obtaining As and Bs.



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