Teenage girls skip court to go on crime spree
TropicNow exclusive: CCTV footage shows the moment pharmacy staff were abused and assaulted by two juveniles who had skipped yet another court appearance.
Serious flaws in the juvenile justice system have allowed two girls charged with a range of offences to skip court appearances twice in a week and go on another crime spree while they evaded authorities.
The two juveniles today went on a stealing spree in Westcourt that ended up in the assault of staff members at a busy local pharmacy.
First, they absconded from their case workers responsible for taking them to court this morning and went to DFO Shopping Centre where they stole items from a store.
It is understood they stole aerosol cans of deodorant they used to get high by chroming.
But it was their second attempt at theft at a nearby location that escalated into assault.
Around 1:30pm, the two girls stole cans of deodorant from the Good Price Pharmacy at Westcourt.
Incredibly, two case workers who were shadowing the girls allowed the thefts to occur as they are restricted from physically restraining their clients.
The case workers offered to pay the pharmacy for the stolen items after the girls had left.
About an hour later, the two girls returned to the pharmacy and walked down the aisle where the deodorant products are kept, but when staff asked them to leave the girls became abusive and violent.
Good Price Pharmacy co-owner and pharmacist Georgina Twomey was verbally abused and punched in the chest while protecting her staff. A pregnant staff member was also caught up in the encounter.
Mrs Twomey said she was disappointed the system allowed juveniles already charged with offences to run amok in the suburbs of Cairns.
“No staff should be put at risk or feel unsafe at work but like paramedics, nurses and other health professionals unfortunately pharmacy staff are often the target of abuse,” Mr Twomey said.
“It was an unsettling experience but we are thankful for the support of Cairns Police in responding to this incident promptly.”
TropicNow is seeking comment from Attorney-General and Justice Minister Yvette D'Ath about the apparent failings in the juvenile justice system that allowed the incidents to take place.