An unlicensed teenager who broke a six-year-old girl's leg when he hit her while riding an out-of-control and unregistered trail bike was convicted when he faced Orange Children's Court on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old, who cannot be identified because he was only 17 at the time of the offence, was riding one of several unregistered trail bikes that were seen and heard riding around the Orange area before the crash on March 2, 2021.
According to information provided to the court, the teenager who was not wearing a helmet and did not have a driver's licence, rode the unregistered red and black Honda CRF 250 trail bike through Edye Park at 7.23pm immediately before the court.
At the same time the victim was standing in the driveway of a Kurim Avenue house with other children and she was hit when the teen rode out of the park at an unknown speed and lost control.
He told the police the throttle was locked on and as he approached the driveway he lost control and the back end of the bike slipped out, causing him to hit the young girl.
She was thrown to the ground and rolled over several times suffering serious lower leg injuries that required surgery the next day.
According to the information presented to the court, the teenager stopped a short distance away and dropped the bike to the ground and could be seen holding his head in his hands for a short period before picking the bike back up and leaving the scene without further attempts to help the child.
However, solicitor Mason Manwaring said the boy had to leave the scene after being physically threatened by a resident.
"I'm told by my client and his mother that while he was checking on the young girl who was hurt, a gentleman came out of a Kurim Avenue address with a bat and called him a 'black dog'," Mr Manwaring said.
"He stayed and then he was threatened and he left."
Police arrived after the teen left and investigators from the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit were deployed from Sydney to identify the offender and the offending vehicle the next day before the teenager handed himself in at Orange Police Station at 2.15pm.
Magistrate David Day said it was a "very serious matter" but also spoke out about the vigilantism, aggression and threats of violence from the armed resident.
"What should have been offered was comfort and assistance for the little girl," Mr Day said.
"Instead you get this wild west attitude, this [was] 2021 and that's the sort of behaviour, primitive, aggressive, racialist, and antisocial, irrespective of what this person did."
You get this wild west attitude, this [was] 2021 and that's the sort of behaviour, primitive, aggressive, racialist, and antisocial, irrespective of what this person did.- Magistrate David Day
After the teenager left the scene, the girl's parents picked her up and drove her in their car to Orange Hospital for treatment. She suffered fractures to her lower left leg and underwent surgery on March 3, 2021.
A short time after the crash, an unknown male was seen pushing the offending motorbike to the backyard of a Glenroi address.
After handing himself in, the teenager admitted to police what he did and provided police with the location of the motorbike, which was seized.
"He shouldn't have been on the bike and he wasn't able to control the bike," Mr Manwaring said.
However, he said a Juvenile Justice Report indicated there was a strong chance of rehabilitation.
"He just needs that oversight from somebody other than family to give him a bit of a push," Mr Manwaring said.
Mr Day said it appeared the girl was not hurt seriously enough for the teenager to face the more serious charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
He said it was fortunate the girl wasn't more seriously injured in the crash and she was not injured further by not being treated and transported to hospital by paramedics.
He shouldn't have been on the bike and he wasn't able to control the bike.- Solicitor Mason Manwaring
"It was her luck that [her] injuries were not [exacerbated] by being driven to hospital."
Mr Day said the teenager was also fortunate that he didn't fall and hit his head given he wasn't wearing a helmet.
"If he came off the bike and experienced serious head injuries he might have been in a vegetative state as someone who is significantly brain damaged," he said.
During sentencing, Mr Day said "allowances must be made" for the offender's age, not just his biological age, particularly in relation to immaturity and he would put "his rehabilitation to the forefront".
However, he also said retribution cannot be ignored, general deterrence must be considered for antisocial conduct and a child just under 18 cannot be treated much differently than an adult just over 18.
"He was engaged in an adult activity but he was extremely immature not considering his biological age," Mr Day said.
"Both he and other road users [were] at risk by his inability to control the bike, [it] demonstrates a complete disregard for his own and other road users' safety.
"In my opinion his rehabilitation cannot be overhauled by his rank stupidity."
Mr Day said by driving while insured he placed himself at risk of having to pay for the child's medical costs.
Mr Day convicted the teenager and placed him on supervised probation for 12 months for causing bodily harm by misconduct while in charge of a motor vehicle.
He also ordered him to be of good behaviour for 12 months and fined him $110 for riding while unlicensed.
The teenager received another $110 fine for riding an unregistered motorbike and he was also ordered to be of good behaviour for riding an uninsured motorbike and for riding without a helmet.
Mr Day also disqualified him from obtaining a driver's licence for six months and said if he was over the age of 18 at the time he would disqualified him for longer.
"In that six months don't drive or ride any motor vehicle, you will just be digging a big hole for yourself," he said.
"When the disqualification is over, get yourself a licence."
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