Carers allegedly held to ransom as boy, 11, bailed on 50 charges
AN 11-year-old boy accused of holding his carers at ransom with a screwdriver because he wanted to get takeaway was on bail for 50 property crime and assault-related charges at the time of the offence.
The boy was released on bail again yesterday, with a Townsville police officer concerned for the community's safety.
He was charged with kidnapping with ransom, a charge that warrants 10 years in prison for an adult, but even after police "strongly" objected to bail in Townsville's Children's Court yesterday, the 11-year-old was set free.
Child Protection and Investigation Unit officer-in-charge Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles said the offence was very concerning and was unsure if the juvenile would face any actual time in custody.
"This is a significant offence and a significant escalation of behaviour of a young person," he said.
"They are a real concern to us and a real risk present to the community.
"But there is no guarantee at all that they are subjected to an imprisonment order."
On February 19, the boy is accused of threatening two of his carers with a fork and screwdriver if they did not obey him, just one day after he was released on bail for previous offending.
The boy, who was in the back seat of a car, allegedly held the weapons to the back and neck of the two victims as they drove him around Townsville.
Det Snr Sgt Miles said the boy allegedly made demands for the man and woman to take him to a Townsville City take away store to get food.
The victims were allegedly prevented from going about their normal business and were held at ransom for a "matter of minutes".
Det Snr Sgt Miles said the boy started to calm down and comply with his carers once he got what he wanted.
"The individuals calmed the situation down and once they had agreed to his demands he became compliant," he said.
The victims called police and the boy was arrested at a home on Wednesday night.
Det Snr Sgt Miles was unsure of the welfare of the victims, but said they were both not injured in the ordeal.
The boy will face court again on March 4 and was subject to no strict bail conditions.