Murder accused faces VCE exams behind bars

Karen Sweeney
·2-min read

A teenage boy accused of murdering a tradie in Melbourne could have to sit his year 12 exams behind bars.

Tahmid Rahman's English exam is scheduled on Tuesday and a bail application in Victoria's Supreme Court won't be decided until the day before.

Justice Michael Coghlan suggested the 18-year-old's lawyer was being "old fashioned" when he argued it would be difficult or even impossible for Rahman to do exams while on remand.

Rahman is one of three people charged with the murder of 20-year-old tradie Adrian Pacione in the northern Melbourne suburb of Lalor in July.

A prosecution summary alleges the trio went to Mr Pacione's home and discharged multiple rounds from a semi-automatic handgun into the property.

Mr Pacione, who was visiting the property, was struck in the head by a bullet that came through the front window and a wall.

He suffered critical injuries and died in hospital two days later.

Rahman's lawyer Leonard Hartnett said there was no evidence his client was at the property at the time of the shooting, although he said there had been a 35-second telephone conversation with one of the other accused 20 minutes beforehand.

Justice Coghlan said inferences could be drawn that he was actively part of a plot or scheme to go to the property to seek revenge, or that he might even be considered a leader of the plot.

The judge described it as a pretty unpleasant murder.

"Apart from the fact you have an entirely innocent victim in this case, it has just about the most undesirable features - groups of young men deciding they will simply take the law into their own hands," he said.

Drugs were a factor, he said.

Mr Hartnett said the teen's young age was a factor, noting concerns for his physical and mental health while being held in the adult Melbourne Assessment Prison.

Mr Hartnett said Rahman had the added pressure of VCE and needed to cram, to access his calculator and textbooks and speak to fellow students in preparation.

"We all know from our personal experience how important those are ... doing the exams in prison is a lot worse than far from ideal," he said.

It's proposed if Rahman was released on bail he would live with his parents, subject to a strict curfew and a surety put up by his parents.

The judge noted some concern about Rahman's prior cannabis and oxycontin drug use, which had happened while he was living at home.

"Either his parents don't know what's going on, which is unhelpful, or they've been unable to control it," he said.

The court heard Rahman has a younger sister who had reported his drug use to their parents, and an older brother who came to the attention of Australia's terror watchdog ASIO after travelling to the Middle East and getting into "terrible trouble" before his death.