Teenagers accused of robbing tourists at Australian Open

Man arrested
Photo: Andrey Burmakin, Bigstock

A group of teenage boys accused of bashing and then robbing foreign tourists at the Australian Open have faced court.

Five teenagers have been charged for two separate robberies that occurred in Melbourne’s CBD on Wednesday night that left one US male seriously injured.

Police have stated that they believe a 52 year old man and 17 year old boy, both of whom were visiting Australia from the United States were punched and robbed not long after 11pm in the Queen Victoria Gardens.

The older man was taken to hospital with serious head injuries whilst the teenager only suffered some minor injuries and did not require hospital treatment.

Later that night, also in the Queen Victoria Gardens, police have said that three German tourists were bashed and robbed, again, by the same group of 5 teenage boys. The German tourists, said to be in their 20s, did not require hospitalisation suffering only from minor injuries.

It appears that the robberies happened within a short time of each other as police arrested a group of teenagers just before midnight in Birrarung Marr.

The group of five, containing three teenage boys and 2 teenage girls were all charged with a number of offences. The three 17 year old boys have been charged with intentionally causing serious injury amongst other things.

Two girls, both 16 years old, were charged with attempted affray, assault and robbery. All are due to appear in a children’s court on February 8.

A lawyer for one of the accused teenage boys said that her client did not want to be held in front of the court and requested an adjournment to apply for bail.

The Judge, Magistrate Jane Gibson, granted the adjournment after being told that the offender had not previously been held in custody, however smoked cigarettes, and may experience withdrawal whilst detained.

The teenager was, however, refused bail in an attempt to be freed. The lawyer argued that the teenager had played a smaller part in the incident but the magistrate said that the boy was an “unacceptable risk”.

The magistrate reasoned that the boy had a history of breaching his bail and was on probation at the time of the most recent incident.

One of the teens was charged with committing an illegal offence whilst on bail. He is also facing 11 other charges.

A third teenager faces similar charges.

Investigators are keen to speak with anyone who witnessed the incident and are encouraging those to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000