Nine year old choked in schoolyard fight
A PRIMARY school student has fronted court for choking a nine year old in a schoolyard bullying assault.
The boy, then 11, was initially charged with assault occasioning bodily harm in company, which was discharged and replaced with common assault.
He pleaded guilty to the incident on September 8 last year in Mackay, which involved him choking a nine-year-old boy during an agreed clash.
Crown Prosecutor Eddie Cocker said the assault had "flowed out of … a schoolyard fight".
"And it just went too far from there," Mr Coker said.
Judge Brad Farr said the boy had taken the choke "well beyond what anyone sensibly agreed to".
"If you had pressed his throat for too long his throat might have just shut down as a consequence of the pressure.
"You might have found yourself here in court facing a charge of murder or manslaughter because that person could easily have died."
In Queensland, the minimum age for criminal responsibility is 10.
Defence lawyer Matt Heelan told Mackay Childrens Court the boy had been in Year 6 when the incident occurred.
"There's a history of moving around a lot, which we all know can have a detrimental effect on a child's life," Mr Heelan said, revealing the boy had been sexually abused and exposed to more than one family member taking their own life.
The court heard on one occasion he actually found the body.
Mr Heelan said the boy's mother had identified that her son had difficulty regulating his emotions.
"He knows he took it too far with the choke," Mr Heelan said.
The court heard the boy, now 12, attended school as well as helping out in a trade business that could potentially lead to an apprenticeship.
Judge Farr labelled the incident as "extraordinarily dangerous".
"You can imagine how frightening it would have been for that (boy) not to be able to breath," Judge Farr said.
"Hard to think of something more frightening.
"You can't go around doing that type of thing - it's just unacceptable conduct, it is criminal conduct and it is conduct that's going to get you in trouble if you keep doing it."
Judge Farr said the boy needed to learn from his mistakes and placed him on a six month good behaviour bond.