Report highlights teens problems

A $9000 psychologist’s report was instrumental in keeping Benjamin Glenn Burrows out of jail this week.

The report was ordered after Burrows repeatedly appeared in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on minor criminal matters.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell said he was surprised at the cost of the report.

“The report was ordered on the basis that Mr Burrows is an 18-year-old fellow with some serious problems,” Mr Tatnell said.

“Apart from the cost, it was a very thorough report and very beneficial for the court in the sentencing process.”

Mr Tatnell said it was clear Burrows had serious health problems and had “gone off the rails.”

Burrows pleaded guilty to 12 charges this week, all of which breached an 18-month probation order he was serving.

The offences included stealing bicycles to ride around town with his friends, possessing small amounts of cannabis and trespassing in a shopping centre from which he had been banned.

Defence solicitor Michael Riedel said Burrows had ADHD and autism spectrum disorder and had often offended under peer pressure.

The most recent spate of offences occurred while Burrows was living with friends but he had since moved back into the family home to be under the guidance of his mother.

Prosecutor Sergeant Kathryn Stagoll said Burrows was within reach of a jail term but the psychologist reported such punishment may not deter him from re-offending.

“I don’t think a term of imprisonment is the answer – it wouldn’t do anything to help him,” Mr Tatnell said.

“I’m concerned he’s a teenager with major health problems who has run off the rails.

“There needs to be further work done.”

Mr Tatnell sentenced Burrows to another 18 months’ probation and 100 hours community service.

“If you continue to re-offend you’re going to end up in custody,” he told the teenager.

“You have to make a decision to behave yourself.

“Any nonsense and you will be straight back before me.”

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