AG: Caboolture school stabber's sentence not harsh enough
THE Attorney-General has argued a violent stabbing in a Caboolture school toilet block was so "heinous" that the attacked deserved a harsher penalty.
A 16-year-old boy was sentenced to four years detention for stabbing a 14-year-old girl in the head, neck and back in a toilet block at St Columban's College in May last year.
But the justice ordered the attempted murder sentence be suspended after serving two years.
Attorney-General Justice Jarrod Bleijie asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal on the basis the sentence was manifestly inadequate, was not in line with community expectations and did not set an adequate deterrent to other children.
Solicitor-General Walter Sofronoff told the Queensland Court of Appeal that a sentencing judge could hand down a tougher sentence despite the the Caboolture teen's youth and lack of history if the crime was deemed it "particularly heinous".
He accepted that was a judgment call.
"In our submission it would be correct to conclude that what the (boy) did here that morning, and to choose the victim he chose to do what he did, is particularly heinous," he said.
Mr Sofronoff said the lack of life-threatening injuries was only because the boy "failed in his intention to kill".
He said there was a "lucky factor" through the young girl's "courage and determination".
"She was severely injured but she did not die and she was not maimed," he said.
Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo said the girl did not suffer life-threatening injuries because she fought back "despite the worst intentions of the offender".
"She believed she was going to be killed. Of course she did; it would have been a terrifying experience," she said.
Justice McMurdo said the less serious result was a benefit to the convicted stabber on sentence.
She said other factors the Attorney-General was trying to argue made the crime "particularly heinous" were because the boy had opened up to police and psychiatrists about "his darkest thoughts".
"He was obviously a troubled young man," she said.
"He's opened up with his darkest thoughts.
"The psychiatrist is now confident with treatment and direction to deal with these dark thoughts he is a low risk of re-offending."
Justice McMurdo also pointed out the boy had no brushes with the juvenile justice system at all when many 16-year-olds before the courts already had lengthy criminal histories.
Mr Sofronoff said when a crime was particularly serious, the lack of criminal history was not as prominent in the sentencing process.
The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment.