A teenager who hacked at his 12-year-old girlfriend with a machete because she ‘didn’t listen to him’ has avoided jail.
The then 16-year-old, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory to attacking his then-girlfriend in October 2018.
He had been sniffing aerosols on the Galiwinku oval with the girl, who he had been in a relationship for about six months, in the early hours of October 30, 2018.
The 12-year-old girl was not intoxicated and began to walk home, NT News reported.
A teenager who viciously hacked at his 12-year-old girlfriend with a machete because she ‘didn’t listen to him’ has avoided jail
As the girl was leaving another child ‘found’ a machete, the court heard.
The boy said: ‘Give me that machete because I have to bash that little girl for not listening to me’.
The boy then followed the girl and hit her in the upper arm with the weapon, the court heard.
She fell to the ground and the teenager stood over her and continued to assault her by swinging the knife ‘in a chopping motion’ to the girl’s face and head.
One of the girl’s friends pushed the 16-year-old away.
Chief Justice Michael Grant acknowledged it was the only reason the attack stopped.
The 12-year-old was airlifted to Royal Darwin Hospital for emergency surgery for the severe lacerations to her skull and arms, broken knuckles and severed tenderloins in both hands.
She was required to stay in hospital for a month and needed both splints and hand therapy to regain full function of her hands.
Chief Justice Grant said without the quick action from specialists at the hospital the girl may have lost the use of both hands, or died.
The girl still suffers from pins and needles as well as stuff and numb hands.
‘What you did has obviously had a terrible impact on the victim, including in ways that we would not necessarily expect,’ he told the teenager.
The then 16-year-old, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory to attacking his girlfriend at the time in October 2018
‘When she was recovering, she could not feed, bathe or dress herself. Her big sister had to do that for her, which caused them both shame for cultural reasons.’
Chief Justice Grant acknowledged the teenager had since been diagnosed with an intellectual disability but said he had not accepted ‘how serious the offending was’.
The chief justice also said the teenager did not realise the impact his actions had on the girl or felt any remorse.
‘When asked about the offending during the course of a psychiatric assessment, you sought to attribute blame for what happened to your friends urging you to hit the girl,’ he said.
The teenager was given a suspended sentence after spending four months in jail before being bailed in March last year.