Crime Files Network

Archive for May, 2016

At least 50 homicide-related charges have been brought against West Australian children in the past six years with five boys currently being held in detention facing murder charges over three unrelated deaths in 2016.

If any of the boys, aged between 12 and 17 years old, are convicted, they will become the first child sentenced for murder in WA in nine years following the convictions of two 17-year-old girls who strangled their friend to death in Collie in 2006

murdered-in-wa-aust-Kuol Akut (top left), Patrick Slater, (middle) and Alan Taylor (bottom left) were all allegedly killed by children. image

Kuol Akut (top left), Patrick Slater, (middle) and Alan Taylor (bottom left) were all allegedly killed by children.

Three of the children in detention, aged 12, 14 and 17, are alleged to have been part of a group of eight males who fatally bashed Patrick Slater outside the Esplanade Train Station in the early hours of January 27.

A 17-year-old boy is accused of killing fellow-teenager Kuol Akut by throwing a brick at his head during an after-party street brawl in Girrawheen in April.

While the fifth boy, 17, is one of four charged with the “brutal” murder of Girrawheen father Alan Taylor in his home in April.

All are yet to enter pleas.

Police Minister Liza Harvey labelled violent attacks on any person concerning, especially when young people were involved.

“We have seen many lives shattered when young people leave home to have a good time and never return because of a violent incident,” she said.

“Police work closely with many community organisations to engage with youth.

“Youth violence is a complex social issue and we need a whole community response to help reduce the incidence.”

Since July 2010 statistics reveal more than 50 homicide-related child charge, which encompasses murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and driving occasioning death.

Relationship Australia executive director for youth programs Michael Sheehan said the increasing availability of alcohol to youths, coupled with changes to the family structure, were fuelling youth violence.

“Changing family structures, parents working longer hours – it means teenagers are bored and there’s less supervision meaning they’re more likely to get into trouble and mix with the wrong people,” he said.

His comments follow four boys being convicted of manslaughter in 2014-15 [financial year], including a 15-year-old Bunbury child who killed his newborn son during a hospital visit, and three teenagers who fatally bashed another boy, Quinn De Campe, in December 2013 after luring him into bushland to sell him cannabis.

More recently, a 12-year-old boy, in December, was convicted of unlawful wounding after he confessed to drinking alcohol with friends in Perth’s CBD and smashing a glass bottle over a man’s head who had just been “clotheslined” off his motorcycle by rope strung across the road.

He received a juvenile conditional release order after spending three months in custody awaiting his sentencing.

But it’s not just high profile cases coming through Perth Children’s Court.

In December last year, 120 children were being held in Banksia Hill Detention Centre, 25 convicted of offences against another person, 22 for robbery and extortion and 39 for break-ins and theft.

A further 975 sentenced youths were being managed within the community at the same time.

Around 10 per cent of the 15,340 charges against children in the 2014-15 financial year were violence-related.

Mr Sheehan, however, criticised WA’s criminal justice system, saying it was too heavily weighted to reactive responses to youth crime, rather than prevention and early intervention.

“They might be referred to a drug and alcohol counsellor on a community based order and that’s obviously helpful but if they’re still in an environment where their parents drink or they’ve still got access to alcohol or peer pressure, it’s still not the solution,” he said.

Peel youth services family support counsellor Tanya Langford agreed, claiming many parents struggled to deal with violent children and that government support for them was limited.

“The problem is that if the police go to the home and there’s youth violence and they don’t report it and they don’t tell the parents to report it – it doesn’t even get to the courts and that’s what’s happening,” Ms Langford said.

“This mum I’ve just been talking to, she called the police [on her violent son] and they’ve told her she needs to leave the home, she needs to go and give the kid some time to cool off.

“Or another option police sometimes use – they can do a removal order for the young person only if there is an alternative accommodation option available for up to 72 hours, but there’s often no one who will take them.”

Ms Langford said if more resources were not pumped into addressing the reasons children acted violently, the pattern would continue down to the next generation.

“We have to realise for these young kids, if they are using violence to get what they want, they are developing that passive behaviour so then there’s a really high likelihood that when they move into relationships with partners, they are going to be our future generation of domestic violence perpetrators,” she said.

“Kids are exposed to so much more aggression and violence now in games and on TV… and tied in with that we’ve got so many more single parent families, so mums are trying to raise boys that don’t have good male role models in their lives.”

Ms Langford believed a solution to the problem would be to initiate court-ordered intervention programs that violent children must attend, before it gets to the point where they are charged with an offence and go through the court system.

She said the limited invention programs currently available for families often struggled to maintain child participation, as they were not compulsory.

Department of Child Protection director general Emma White said although the department did not keep statistics on violent children, it worked with families and young people to provide early intervention strategies and prevent risks from escalating.

“Responding to youth criminal and anti-social behaviour requires a multi-agency approach, and strong partnerships are in place between the Department, the Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Corrective Services and the Western Australian Police to target services toward youth who are considered most at risk,” she said.

“The department funds a range of services to assist families where youth criminal and anti-social behaviour may present including family counselling, parent-teen conflict and specialist family and domestic violence services.”

If you are experiencing family and domestic violence or concerned about becoming violent or abusive contact the state-wide 24 hour helplines.

  • Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline – free call 1800 007 339
  • Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline – free call 1800 000 599



police car at crime scene image

Police have found three bodies at a house in Adelaide.

A man has been charged with murder after three bodies, two of them children, were found in a house in Adelaide’s north.

Police had been called to the address in Hillier, near Elizabeth, at 1.30pm on Monday.

When they arrived, police were approached by three men at the home. One was taken to the Lyell McEwen Hospital under police guard.

murder scene south aust image

The man was released into police custody and charged with murder overnight.

Police investigators, including forensic officers, established a crime scene and examined the home overnight.

Family members gathered at the property around 7pm, and a relative was seen removing the family’s dog from the home.

The Advertiser has named the woman as Adeline Yvette Rigney-Wilson, a 29-year-old mother of two. The bodies of children, a boy aged 5 and a girl, 6, were also found at the scene.

The address where the tragedy occurred is said to be about 30 minutes from Adelaide’s CBD and is situated on farmland.

The ABC reports that the deaths could be linked to a domestic dispute.

The man has been refused bail and will face Elizabeth Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

This story has been updated to include details of charges.



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