Teen thief hospitalised, victim investigated for assault
Teenager allegedly bashed by victim
A teenager winds up in intensive care after allegedly being chased and bashed after trying to break into the garage of a Nerang home.
A leading criminal defence lawyer says it unlikely a teenager who chased down a younger teen after catching him trying to steal his pushbike will be charged.
However, his victim may face criminal charges over the botched break in.
The 13-year-old boy is in a stable condition in hospital after being caught trying to break into the garage of a Nerang house to steal a pushbike about 10pm on Friday alongside two friends, police said.
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The trio were disturbed by a 16-year-old boy, who then chased them down the street, before catching the younger teen.
The 13-year-old was later taken to the Gold Coast Hospital with serious injuries, but his condition has since stabilised.
Gold Coast lawyer Bill Potts said there was a clear line between self-defence and retribution, but the 16-year-old may escape criminal charges, as he is considered a juvenile under Queensland law.
“If an adult had done the same thing he would very swiftly find himself arrested for assault,” he said.
“The court and the law requires that people only use reasonable force. It does not entitle us or enable us to inflict harm on people.”
Mr Potts warned that residents can only physically defend their property as far as the driveway or back fence.
“The criminal code makes it very clear that people are entitled to defend their own property to the extent that it is reasonably necessary,” he said.
“If someone has invaded your house in the middle of the night then you can use sufficient force to repel them, to disenable them and get them away from your property.
“The duty of any person in those circumstances is to report it to call the police, perhaps follow them to identify them, but under no circumstances is it justified to effectively assault someone once the need to the defend the property and themselves is over.
“The idea of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is the rule of the jungle, it’s not the rule for Queensland.”
A police spokesman said officers from the Gold Coast Child Protection Investigation Unit were investigating an alleged assault.
“We’ve spoken with the boy and his family, but they have not yet made a formal complaint,” he said.
“The CPIU will speak with the family today.”
It is not clear whether the two teens knew each other before the incident.