Teenagers accused of Bli Bli school fire face court
ONE of two teenagers charged over a fire at Bli Bli State School last Friday had fronted court two weeks ago, the Maroochydore Magistrates Court has heard.
Zhane Anthony Currie and Andrew Lawrence Davidson, both 16, of Bli Bli, appeared in court yesterday charged with arson.
The boys' criminal history was brought up by the police prosecutor while opposing an application to close the court.
Amendments to the Youth Justice Act which came into force in March allow proceedings against child repeat offenders to be held in open court unless the court makes an order otherwise.
Senior Constable Stewart Lydford told the court that Mr Currie had a "substantial history" going back to January last year and had been in court as recently as August 5 on a trespassing charge.
Mr Davidson had been before the court in March and July this year, Snr Const Lydford said.
Rod Morgan, of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, in applying to have the court closed, acknowledged public interest in the case.
However, he said public identification of the boys could harm their employment prospects and lead to them being targeted.
Magistrate John Hodgins, in dismissing the application, said the issues raised by Mr Morgan were "legitimate matters of concern" but he also had to consider the seriousness of the alleged offences.
The boys were remanded to appear for committal mention on October 21.