Teens charged with Queanbeyan killing separated in youth detention

Teens charged with Queanbeyan killing separated in youth detention

The teenage boys charged with murdering service station worker Zeeshan Akbar have been separated while detained in custody.

Sources told The Canberra Times the 16-year-old boy has been sent to the Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre in Kariong, NSW.

The teens have been charged over the death of Zeeshan Akbar.

The teens have been charged over the death of Zeeshan Akbar.

It is understood the 15-year-old boy has been detained at the Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre, almost 100km away in Western Sydney.

On Thursday April 6 the pair allegedly embarked on an overnight crime rampage, which included:

  • Smashing a long neck beer bottle over the head of a man in Queanbeyan's Apex Park
  • Breaking into a home on Stornaway Road and bashing a man with a tyre iron
  • Stabbing service station attendant Zeeshan Akbar to death at the Caltex on Bugendore Road
  • Stabbing another man in the chest at the intersection of Southwell Place and Barracks Drive

The teenagers were arrested in the ACT on Friday April 7.

Mr Akbar, 29, had just applied for his permanent residency at the time of his killing and was soon to return home to Pakistan to marry.

"He was happy about this," close friend and colleague Hamid Mehmood told The Canberra Times.

"Things were good for him and he was really happy about it. He was excited about the marriage and he told me the next time he went home he would definitely marry."

Mr Akbar was born in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi.

He moved to Melbourne on a student visa in 2009, determined to become a mechanic, and he moved to Queanbeyan in 2015 on a skilled regional visa.

NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn has previously said there was some evidence the teens' alleged crimes could be terror-related or linked to drugs.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the circumstances of the stabbing warranted the involvement of the Joint Counter-Terrorism Taskforce.

On Sunday April 9 the teenagers appeared before a Sydney court, where they were charged with murder, robbery, wounding with intent, carjacking and aggravated break and enter.

Neither boy has been charged with any terror-related offences.

Steven Trask is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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