Female detention centre guard feared for her life: Riot terror

A FEMALE security guard feared she was going to be raped and killed during a riot at a youth detention centre in which a Mildura boy has admitted his involvement.

A Children’s Court was told the 16-year-old got swept away in an “avalanche” as teenagers terrorised security staff and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage during three terrifying riots between November last year and May this year.

The teenagers, armed with metal poles, pieces of wood and a fire extinguisher, charged at security staff during a riot at Parkville in November last year when a 28-strong group of inmates took control of the centre.

The court was told the same boy later escaped from the Malmsbury youth detention centre on Australia Day this year following a further riot in which a security guard was attacked and had his security pass stolen.

The youth was again involved in yet another riot at the Malmsbury facility in May this year in which he threatened security personnel and tried to steal keys and a security card from another staff member.

In the November riot, the Parkville detention centre was evacuated when the Mildura boy, who cannot be named, and other teenagers went on a rampage, damaging vehicles and other property.

The court was told the damage bill amounted to tens of thousands of dollars. 

Just three months later, seven teenagers fled the Malmsbury facility before stealing cars, ramming other vehicles and leading police in high speed pursuits.

The court was told the teens used the legs from table tennis tables as weapons to threaten staff and forced contractors working at the site to flee.

The Mildura boy was among a group of teenagers who then fled through a courtyard and celli-port at the centre to reach an external carpark.

The court was told the group went their separate ways with the Mildura youth and other escapees taking part in several carjackings and attempted carjackings.

The court was told the group forced motorists from their cars out of fear following their escape, left one female victim crying and screaming and others driving off to avoid a confrontation.

The stolen vehicles were driven on the wrong side of the Calder Freeway, collided with other vehicles, used in a petrol drive-off and later dumped.

Police dressed in full riot gear were called in to regain control of the facility.

The court was told that again at the Malmsbury facility in May this year, the Mildura boy was among a group of teenagers who threatened staff and caused damage to numerous doors and windows at the centre.

One officer was taken to hospital with facial injuries.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, one female security officer said the offending had a “huge” impact on her life.

She said she was now anxious, depressed, found it difficult to travel and was too scared to return to work.

The sentencing magistrate said she was “a bit surprised ... to say the least” to have heard about the Mildura boy’s involvement in the riots, but added: “He’s in the bottom end of the serious group.” 

The court was told the boy had made a fool of himself while in custody and he would now have to earn the trust of his support group.

The teenager was sentenced to 15 months in youth detention before being eligible for parole. He has already served 196 days in custody.

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