ACT News


'Don't spit in my eye': judge's warning

A Canberra judge has warned a 16-year-old serial burglar "don't spit in my eye" while giving him a chance to turn his life around.

The teenager can expect a suspended sentence if he can stay clean and crime free.

But Justice Richard Refshauge warned the youth that his "patience is coming to an end".

The teenager appeared in the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday for resentencing after breaching a good behaviour order.

He asked the judge to also take into account unrelated charges of burglary, theft and property damage that were also before the court.

The court heard the boy had amassed a "massive" record, including more than a dozen convictions for burglary and theft.


Justice Refshauge sentenced him to a suspended jail sentence, 100 hours of community service and a good behaviour order in October last year. But the court heard he had not completed the community service work and had breached the order by drinking alcohol.

At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, the judge reinstated the suspended jail sentence, increased the community service hours to 160 and ordered the boy sign a three-year good-behaviour order.

Justice Refshauge noted the teenager's efforts at job hunting and finishing education courses.

He deferred sentence on the three unrelated charges until September.

"It is in your hands now. If you want to be in and out of jail, the courts will respond appropriately," Justice Refshauge said.

"It's going to be tough because your record is against you.

"There's a long, long way to go. Don't spit in my eye."