A Central Otago teenager remanded in custody almost two weeks
ago on a charge of sexually violating a Wanaka schoolgirl
will have to stay there.
Bail was sought for the 17-year-old at a hearing in the
Invercargill District Court yesterday, but Judge John
McDonald turned the application down.
The youth, who has interim name suppression, is charged with
violating a girl aged between 12 and 16 on February 10. He
was remanded in custody the following day so a psychiatric
report could be obtained.
His counsel, Russell Checketts, said yesterday the teenager
was being held in a secure cell at the Otago Correctional
Facility at Milton. While the charge was serious, he had no
previous convictions and had never come to the attention of
the police before. He had full-time work and his employer was
prepared to allow him to work.
Mr Checketts said he appreciated the complainant had concerns
about his client being back in the community, but any
potential risks could be managed through bail conditions
including an alcohol ban, a curfew and an order he not go
near the complainant's house.
Judge McDonald said he was not prepared to release the
teenager on bail until he had seen the psychiatric report and
that had not yet been completed. He said he had concerns
about the teenager's mental health, including ''extensive
admissions of suicidal, homicidal and command hallucination''
thoughts. He also had to consider the safety of the
The teenager was remanded in custody to appear again in the
Queenstown court on March 11, but Judge McDonald said he
would consider a fresh bail application before then if the
psychiatric report was available.