News

Teenager granted bail following alleged violent carjacking in Shepparton

By Liz Mellino

A Shepparton teenager has been granted bail following an alleged violent carjacking involving an imitation firearm and samurai sword on Monday night.

The girl, 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was released from custody yesterday despite a court being told the two victims of the aggravated carjacking feared for their safety.

It is alleged that just before 10.30 pm on Monday the two victims were robbed and their Nissan X-Trail was stolen by a group of young males who were armed with an imitation firearm and samurai sword.

The court was told by a police informant that the victims attended Victoria Park Lake along Tom Collins Dve, Shepparton, on the night of the incident after being contacted by the accused, who asked them to meet her there.

It is alleged a short time later a group of four or five young males appeared from the north end of Tom Collins Dve, before the accused left the scene.

The court was told the young males surrounded the two victims before one of the victims was allegedly threatened and told he would be shot and cut up, and demands were made of him to empty his pockets and surrender his mobile phone.

The victim, who told police the co-accused were holding two samurai swords and a gun, was allegedly struck several times with a metal bat after not complying with their orders.

The court heard the co-accused then approached the other victim, demanding he empty his pockets and hand over his phone, before allegedly pointing a firearm towards his face.

“The (victim) described the gun as a hand pistol, black in colour,” the informant said.

It is alleged the co-accused then grabbed the keys to the victim's vehicle and fled the scene in it, picking up the accused further along Tom Collins Dve.

“Shepparton police members witnessed the vehicle leave Tom Collins Dve at 10.31 pm and a pursuit was called ... it is alleged the vehicle was travelling at an estimated speed of 100 km/h in a 60 km/h zone,” the informant said.

The court was told the pursuit was soon terminated and assistance was called from the police air wing, dog squad and Critical Incident Response Team.

The vehicle was later located in St Albans in Melbourne, where police allege its four occupants, including the accused, fled on foot before being arrested and taken to Sunshine Police Station where they gave "no comment" in interviews.

The court was told police believed the accused was an "unacceptable risk" and therefore should not be released on bail.

The informant said the accused was known to spend time with the other co-accused.

“Police are concerned that if (the accused) remains in close association with them she will get drawn into the life of crime,” the informant said.

The accused's lawyer told the court his client had no prior convictions.

The lawyer called a youth justice worker to the stand who told the court the accused would have a stable residence if she was bailed, saying a curfew could also be put in place.

The worker told the court counsellors could also be called upon because she was deemed to be at a "high risk of re-offending" and would also be keeping in regular contact with youth justice workers to reinforce the need to comply with her bail conditions.

“This is the best place for the applicant,” the youth justice worker said.

The accused was granted bail to appear at a Children's Court at a later date.