Murder accused teen sits VCE exams in jail

Karen Sweeney
·2-min read

A Melbourne teenager will sit his VCE exams behind bars after a judge decided not to grant the murder accused bail.

Tahmid Rahman will sit his English exam with the rest of his peers on Tuesday, but will be in the Melbourne Assessment Prison rather than a classroom with his friends.

The 18-year-old is charged with the murder of 20-year-old tradie Adrian Pacione in the northern Melbourne suburb of Lalor in July.

He's one of three people accused over the killing.

Prosecutors allege multiple rounds from a semi-automatic handgun were fired into the property that Mr Pacione was visiting.

He was struck in the head by a bullet that came through the front window and a wall.

Rahman's lawyers applied for bail in Victoria's Supreme Court last week and spent the weekend confirming whether he'd be able to sit exams at school with his classmates if freed.

His principal approved that plan.

But Justice Michael Coghlan refused the application, noting while it appeared the school was being helpful. he was surprised by their decision.

"I just wonder what the response of parents might be, if it appeared in tomorrow's newspaper, that he was coming back and going to sit his exams here," he said.

Justice Coghlan refused the teen's application and said he could sit his exams in prison. Arrangements will be made for exam papers to be delivered to the jail.

He has been given books and a calculator.

The judge previously described Mr Pacione's killing 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. The court heard Rahman used cannabis and oxycontin.

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.