Mornington Peninsula, Victoria: Outrage over penalty for teen who pushed an elderly lady off pier and laughed about it

A seaside Australian community has been left outraged over the sentence given to a teenager who pushed an elderly woman off a pier as a prank. 

The boy was 14 when he pushed the woman off Mornington Pier, in Victoria, in January along with two mates, one of whom recorded video of the incident.

The stunt could have caused the woman – who could not swim – to drown if others had not jumped in to save her. 

And now there is shock in the Mornington Peninsula community after the boy, who has since turned 15, walked out of court on Tuesday without a conviction.

He was instead given a diversion order, meaning he will undergo a mandatory program including counselling and education.

Chris Crewther, the state MP for Mornington and Victorian Opposition spokesman for justice and corrections, said it amounted to no more than a ‘rap on the knuckles’.

There is outrage in an Australian seaside community over the sentence given to a teenager who pushed an elderly woman off a pier (pictured) and then laughed about it

‘It was pretty shocking for me and most of the Mornington community at the time, that these three young people would just push an elderly person off the pier for no reason whatsoever,’ he told 3AW radio. 

‘I was equally shocked, with our community, that basically he only got a rap on the knuckles.’ 

The boy was on bail at the time of the attack, but the court heard he was remorseful for what he did.

Mr Crewther, however, is sceptical about this claim. 

‘He said he was remorseful in court, but then he gave the finger to people outside of the court,’ the MP said.

‘There’s really not much justice for victims, and continued fear, and when there’s no consequences they just go on to commit more crimes.’

Mr Crewther agreed with radio host Jacqui Felgate that the youth crime crisis in Victoria has a ‘nasty element’ to it. 

‘I think we’ve seen this growing more and more recently, where young people are committing crimes and bragging about their crimes on social media and elsewhere, but there seems to be little consequences for youth committing offences,’ he said. 

He also pointed out that Mornington Police station is operating on reduced hours. 

‘This has happened under the state Labor government, where they’ve reduced hours for multiple different police stations across Victoria,’ he said. 

‘In particular in this case, you look at the fact that the young guy was on bail for assault, for assaulting a 35-year-old female. 

‘He committed this offence of pushing the person off the pier while he was already bailed.’

There was shock in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula community when the now 15-year-old walked out of court on Tuesday without a criminal conviction. The scene of the incident is pictured

There was shock in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula community when the now 15-year-old walked out of court on Tuesday without a criminal conviction. The scene of the incident is pictured

Mr Crewther said this showed the Labor government is ‘weakening our bail laws in Victoria, particularly with respect to abolishing offences of breaching bail conditions and abolishing offences of committing an indictable offence while on bail’. 

During sentencing the magistrate told the court ‘it’s not going to be an easy process’, adding that ‘you’re remorseful for your behaviour, which is a positive step for you and the community’. 

The teenager’s father told 9News outside court: ‘We’re very pleased with the outcome.’

If he completes that four-month order, the charges against the 15-year-old will be wiped from his record.  

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