A TEENAGER appeared in court yesterday for attempted murder after he allegedly stomped on a man's head, just a day after a 15-year-old girl appeared in court on a murder charge.
But yesterday, the Attorney-General, Greg Smith, denied such crimes would result only in a caution under his review of the Youth Offenders Act.
"Serious violent or sexual offences will be dealt with the full force of the law," he told The Sun-Herald. "That is and has always been my position."
The Attorney-General said he would not pre-empt the outcome of the review, but added he would not be recommending the government make any changes inconsistent with his position on violent or sexual crimes.
"I make no apology for making decisions carefully and by considering all of the evidence available," he said. "That's the best way to make policy decisions."
But the opposition police spokesman, Nathan Rees, said Mr Smith had "his head in the sand".
"I don't know whether he has noticed, but the rest of Sydney has, there has been a crime wave over the last 12 months, first with the shootings and now with a spate of stabbings," Mr Rees said.
"His job as Attorney-General and the government's job is to make sure as first priority of the government is to keep the community safe, and he's failing on this one."
Yesterday, a 16-year old boy was charged with attempted murder and reckless grievous bodily harm after allegedly stomping on the head of a 48-year-old man, Mark Benning, at Richmond.
The teenager, from Bligh Park, faced Parramatta Children's Court and was refused bail.
The court heard last week's attack on Mr Benning was unprovoked and fuelled by alcohol.
Mr Benning, a Richmond resident, was taken to Westmead Hospital with head and spinal injuries after being found unconscious on Lennox Street by patrolling officers last Sunday. He remained in a stable but critical condition, police said on Friday.
The teenager was arrested on Friday and charged with attempted murder, reckless grievous bodily harm in company and robbery in company.
He will remain in custody until he faces court on Thursday.
Magistrate George Zdenkowski said the frequency of alcohol-related violence was of a great concern to the community.
On Friday, a 15-year-old girl was charged with the stabbing murder of the 22-year-old chef Patrick Crowe in Parramatta last month.
She was the fifth person charged in connection with the death of Mr Crowe. In July, Christopher Brilliantes, 21, was charged with Mr Crowe's murder.
The girl, from Greystanes, was formally refused bail and will appear in Parramatta Children's Court on Thursday.