Teen thug who attacked police officer at Highpoint shopping centre walks free

This is an exert from the Herald Sun on 7 February 2018

A TEEN thug who kicked a defenceless policeman in the face has walked free after serving less than a month in custody.

The 17-year-old, who was on probation for crimes including home invasions and car theft when he attacked the officer at Highpoint shopping centre on Boxing Day, was last week released on probation once more.

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt hit out at the sentence, saying the law was meant to be cracking down on such violence.

“How can you not receive a conviction for kicking a police officer in the face in an unprovoked public attack? A month on remand and nine months on probation is light when you consider the potential outcome of this type of attack,” he said.

Mr Gatt said: “We have strict laws for one-punch attacks yet a police officer in Victoria can be kicked in the head and the offender is free to walk without a blot on his record.”

The teen was arrested on December 29 and bailed days later, despite opposition from prosecutors who likened the onslaught to a “soccer kick”.

And they argued: “Your Honour has also heard information that his attitude has not been positive. He’s not made any admissions. There is no evidence of remorse.”

Mr Gatt said the teen had been most fortunate, but his victim had not been.

“He booted a police officer in the head, got bail, breached his bail, and a month later he is back in the community,” he said. “He’s very lucky the court process was so swift for him, because there’s no doubt the legacy of his attack will stay with our member for far, far longer.”

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