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Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre,  Pic Mogens Johansen, The West Australian 3 July 2009 Fairfax Online out
The West Australian Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre, Pic Mogens Johansen, The West Australian 3 July 2009 Fairfax Online out

A teenager escaped a juvenile detention centre by leaving a gym session and scaling a barbed-wire fence before assaulting a construction worker, stealing his car and smashing it through security gates, a Perth court was told yesterday.

The 18-year-old was on the run for six days after escaping from Banksia Hill Detention Centre in August, Perth Children's Court was told.

The teenager and another detainee, who was also charged, escaped after they assaulted a construction worker and stole his Toyota HiLux, which they crashed through a door and security gates.

The construction worker required staples for his head injuries.

Damage from the escape was estimated at more than $60,000.

The court was told the pair stole another vehicle after being involved in a crash soon after escaping.

The details of the escape were revealed during sentencing submissions for the 18-year-old, who pleaded guilty to charges including escaping from custody and aggravated robbery.

The court was told the teenager, who appeared in court by video link from Hakea Prison, was involved in three bag snatches, including one involving a woman who was three months pregnant.

State Prosecutor Jason Chu said "it was difficult to imagine a more serious example" of an escape and argued that the teenager should not be released on parole.

He urged Children's Court President Judge Denis Reynolds to impose a sentence that gave "paramount consideration" to the protection of the community.

Defence lawyer Andrew Williams said the teen's upbringing was tragic and he had spent much of his life in detention.

Much of his offending was related to "negative peer associations" and amphetamine use and he urged the court to consider a sentence that would not be "crushing".

Mr Williams said if the teenager was placed in a stable and secure environment upon release, it would reduce the chance of him reoffending.

Judge Reynolds said he needed more time to consider issues before sentencing the teenager next week.

After the escape, the State Government announced new security measures for Banksia Hill.