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Suspected teenage killer released on bail to live with his mother

Suspected teenage killer released on bail to live with his mother

Suspected teenage killer released on bail to live with his mother

Opposing the release on bail of the accused murderer, Detective Sergeant Peter Romanis of the major collision unit said the stolen Jeep appeared to be travelling at more than 100km/h at the time of impact.

The detective said that while the Jeep’s front airbag did not deploy in the crash, those inside could still have suffered some injuries, prompting police to request the court to physically examine the 17-year-old, which was ultimately rejected by the magistrate.

Two 15-year-old girls were arrested after trying to flee the scene.

Two 15-year-old girls were arrested after trying to flee the scene.Credit: Nine news

The court also heard that between the fatal crash and the 17-year-old’s arrest, he attended juvenile court to have the conditions of a previous diversion program extended.

His previous involvement with police, the court was told, included armed robbery and wrongful imprisonment, and he had pending matters for alleged theft and driving without a license.

The 17-year-old also attends a private boys’ school.

“The fact that the vehicle was driven in such an erratic manner, in my view, poses a significant public risk if he were to be granted bail,” Romanis said.

The stolen Jeep.

The stolen Jeep.Credit: Nine news

The boy faces charges including reckless driving and grand theft auto.

In granting the teenager bail, Magistrate Jack Vandersteen said he must observe a nightly curfew, not drive a vehicle and not associate with the two 15-year-old girls arrested over the same incident.

“This is a very serious allegation,” Vandersteen said.

“As the evidence currently stands, the prosecution’s case is weak.”

During an earlier hearing on Thursday, the court heard that police intended to use a pair of white trainers and mobile phone data to place a 17-year-old boy behind the wheel of a fatal hit-and-run crash in Burwood.

This comes after Police Minister Anthony Carbines gave his strongest indication yet that the state government could abandon plans to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14.

Detective Senior Sergeant Christian Von Tunk told the hearing the Jeep had been stolen during an aggravated robbery on June 24 and then used in an armed robbery with a machete at an Ormond cigarette shop.

Charging

Von Tunk said CCTV footage of the crash showed only one person getting out of the Jeep wearing white sneakers and that police later confiscated shoes of the same colour from the defendant’s home.

But the magistrate criticised the evidence, telling the court that many people in the community own white shoes.

Taylor was on his way to training with Mount Waverley City Soccer Club on Tuesday afternoon when the fatal accident occurred. The club issued a statement on Friday afternoon.

“Mount Waverley City Soccer Club would like to express its condolences to the family and girlfriend of Will Taylor. We are deeply saddened by his sudden passing. Will was a genuine and kind person who will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest in peace Wilba, our friend and teammate,” the club said.

The state is planning to raise the age of criminal responsibility starting in 2025 as part of a massive juvenile justice bill.

In an interview with Age On Thursday, Carbines said the government remained committed to raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12, but understood community concerns about plans to raise it to 14.

Asked whether courts should be tougher on juvenile offenders, he said justice was complex but agreed the system must continue to evolve to meet community expectations.

He said there was also an expectation that courts would explain their decisions to the public.

In applying for bail for his client on Friday, the 17-year-old’s lawyer said that while the fatal consequences of what happened in Burwood this week had not been lost on him, the youth court test for bail was set by the government.

“This is how Parliament has qualified this crime,” he said.

The case is scheduled to return to court next month.

Anyone with information about the Burwood crash or has CCTV or dashcam footage of the incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.