MP calls for harsher penalty for young offender
IPSWICH West MP Sean Choat has written to Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie seeking justice for One Mile fire victim Ricky Murphy.
Mr Murphy lost his home to a blaze last month when a 15-year-old girl set fire to his residence. She is believed to have lit an item near Mr Murphy's home, which then caught fire.
The girl was slated to appear before the Youth Justice Conference for a penalty to be determined.
The Murphy family met with an officer from South West Youth Justice Conferencing this week where Laverne Murphy, Mr Murphy's sister, said they were told the maximum penalty for the girl would be 200 hours of community service.
The girl's situation is also a difficult one and Mr Choat said he wanted to see the girl in the appropriate environment, but also punished appropriately.
"I have now written to the Attorney-General about the possible limp-wristed approach taken in relation to the perpetrator," he said.
"I really hope the Attorney-General will be able to confirm that something harsher can result than 200 hours of community service.
"I just can't sit by and have nothing said when we have an elder in our community lose everything and someone thinks it's OK to go soft on the person responsible.
"I hope to get to the bottom of this one quickly and see justice done. At 15 years of age and with the apparent intent of the crime, there can be no go-soft option and the full force of the law must be applied."
He said the 15-year-old must also be considered.
"I have also written to the department of Child Safety to determine the domestic situation of the youth concerned. Care has to be taken to see she is in an appropriate environment in addition to facing up for her actions," he said.
"I hope to see justice for the Murphy family and an adequate punishment for this offender."
In his letter to the Attorney-General, Mr Choat pointed out that "by a very fortunate coincidence Uncle Ricky was staying overnight with his sister and would possibly otherwise have been killed".