Attempted Murder by 12-year-old Condoned
'Boy laced stepmum's toothpaste' By Tony Keim The Courier-Mail 12/4/2012
Cited as another example of a child eroding public order.

The Honourable Justice Debra A Mullins publicly condoned attempted murder by sentencing a 12-year-old boy who tried to kill his step-mother, to a 12 month 'good behaviour order' without even recording a conviction. P Atkinson

A 12-YEAR-OLD boy who tried to hurt his new stepmother by hiding peanuts in her tooth-paste in a bid to trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction walked free from court yesterday after a judge effectively told him that he needed to be a good boy.

The youth, now 14, had originally been charged with attempting to murder his step-mother in March, 2010, but prosecutors yesterday accepted his guilty plea to the lesser charge of trying to have the woman take a noxious thing to do her harm.

The Crown said the boy, who cannot be named under Queensland law, was struggling to cope with his parents' divorce and the constant moving between their new homes, in Brisbane and NSW, when he tried to hurt his stepmother.

Prosecutor David Finch said it was accepted the child was struggling with his parents' divorce when he hatched an "attention-seeking" plan to make the new step mum ill by putting peanuts in her food during a visit to his father's Brisbane home between February 1 and March 12, 2010.

The court was told the child was fully aware the woman suffered a serious peanut allergy and could become dangerously ill if she consumed any.

He said the boy revealed the plan to his younger brother, who told their parents.

"Although he was disciplined by his father and stepmother, the boy (still) carried out his plan. His stepmother subsequently found peanuts in a tube of toothpaste she had been using," Mr Finch said.

Defence lawyers said the boy was an otherwise well-behaved child, who performed well at school and was a low risk of ever reoffending.

Justice Mullins sentenced him to a 12-month good behaviour order and did not record a criminal conviction.