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Bourke Mayor meets with President of the Children’s Court

Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman addresses the issue of bail for young offenders. PHOTO TWH

Bourke Mayor, Councillor Barry Hollman, has held talks with the President of the NSW Children’s Court, Magistrate Ellen Skinner, to address the issue of young offenders in Bourke.

Clr Hollman said that the day he met with Magistrate Skinner was the day that the NSW Governor confirmed her appointment as President of the Children’s Court of NSW and to the bench of the District Court.

“To be able to talk to the President of the Children’s Court about the issue of bail for young offenders and the impact of releasing them back into the community on such an important day for her personally was important for Bourke,” Clr Hollman said

In particular, Clr Hollman highlighted the recent violent break and enter and the theft of a vehicle and an ambulance by teenagers, who were then bailed following the serious offences and returned to Bourke, unsupervised.

“Magistrate Skinner took everything on board and was very understanding of our situation,” Clr Hollman said.

“The main issue is around the bail situation. There doesn’t seem to be enough magistrates around at the weekends and so offenders are then sent before the Parramatta Court and go through the system there, where court officials are not aware what the children have previously done, so they let them out on bail.

“We are okay with that if they are supervised, but they are letting them back into the community with no supervision.

“When the ambulance was stolen recently, two of the alleged offenders were allowed to return to Bourke, one to his aunty who wasn’t home.

“The other offender went home and there was no one there. There is no system in place for these situations and we need that addressed,” he said.

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