A youth who kicked policeman in the face has been allowed to walk free after appearing in court for his shocking attack on the young officer.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified as he is still considered a child in the eyes of the law, was sentenced to a nine month probationary order by the Children’s court.
The move has been slammed by Victoria’s Police Association with Police Association Secretary Wayne Gatt citing the decision as ‘unacceptable’.
Pictured: The injuries suffered by a police officer who was kicked in the head on Boxing Day
The officer (pictured), 25, was making a shoplifting arrest at the Highpoint Shopping Centre in Maribyrnong, in Melbourne’s inner west, when he was attacked
‘The outcome probably doesn’t meet with the expectations of our members and a few people in the community will rightly question this,’ Police Association Secretary Wayne Gatt told reporters on Wednesday.
‘One of our members was simply out there arresting a shoplifter when he was subjected to an unprovoked, violent attack, kicked in the face.’
Mr Gatt said he was disappointed a criminal conviction was not recorded against the teen.
‘Our members will interpret this, unfortunately, as a message in relation to the seriousness of that offending. And that’s sad because this is serious,’ he said.
‘An unprovoked attack on a police officer in Victoria is serious and it should be met with a conviction.’
State Attorney-General Martin Pakula would not comment on the matter but said he could understand the police union’s disappointment, while defending the court’s actions.
‘I’m not part of the decision-making process, but if the Police Association has expressed their disappointment I completely understand that,’ he said.
‘But I don’t think any one decision gives you a complete story of what’s going on in our youth justice system.’
The teenager was charged for kicking a police officer in the head on Boxing Day (pictured)
Just days following the teenager’s arrest he was again back in court after controversially being granted bail when he was caught with a cellphone, defying the orders of the magistrate.
He was expected to appear before another magistrate but the children’s court was told he had refused to get on the bus that took detainees there, The Age reported.
The teenager was charged with assaulting a police officer, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and assault after allegedly kicking the policeman in the face at the Highpoint shopping centre in Maribyrnon.
Following a 2016 arrest, detectives understand the youth began to seek retribution against police.
NSW Police said the 17-year-old (pictured) approached officers at Melbourne shopping centre
The 17-year-old fled the scene shortly after but since been charged
The boy’s youth worker and lawyer explained he wanted to appear before the court via video link however the magistrate didn’t accept that.
‘I am not granting a video link if he refused to get on the bus,’ the magistrate said.
She added he doesn’t just get to choose to go on video link.
‘He harboured a hatred towards police and he stated he had been biding his time,’ the detective said on January 2.
The injured officer, a five-year veteran of the force, was taken to hospital after the alleged assault (pictured is Highpoint Shopping Centre)
‘He had been very angry towards police and wanted to get back at them, consistent with what he stated on Facebook.’
After he was granted bail on the basis that he’d held the grudge toward police over 18 months and had not been in trouble since the 2016 arrest, he was taken back into custody after being found a mobile phone.
As the case is before the children’s court, the names of children, court officers and lawyers cannot be published. The court locations also cannot be published.