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NSW Will Son's Theft Charge Go to Childrens Court?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Brian76, 11 July 2016.

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  1. Brian76

    Brian76 Member

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    My son was recently fired from his job for stealing money from the cash register. He's admitted to the theft and over a period of time (approximately 6 months), he estimated it to be a few hundred dollars, however, his employer said it was much more and has stated when factoring in the loss of the business, gas and general business cost. It was more like $8000.

    How these are relevant? I'm not sure but out of the kindness of his own heart is willing to let my son get a loan off me to the value of $4000 and pay it to his employer within 2 weeks or he will take the matter to the police.

    So my question is this, being 17 at the time of the theft, will it go to children's court? (No priors, long work history, and model student doing hsc).

    Any help or information to help us through this stressful situation would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that after payment the ex-employer may still go to the police. Much depends on whether you trust his word.

    I cannot see a link between taking money from a cash register and loss of business, gas costs etc. I suspect the ex-employer is blowing out the figure stolen but, by the same token, it is equally likely your son is not telling the whole truth.

    Normally cash registers have to be reconciled each day so I'm not clear on how the alleged thefts are supposed to have occurred and accounted for.

    If your son was 17 at the time of the offences and if he goes to court, it will be the children's court.

    I agree the situation is stressful for all concerned. At 17 he is still not fully 'cooked'. Hopefully, your son learns the right lesson from this. BTW, if he was my son and I'd paid $4k, I'd be putting him on a payment plan and not allow him to get off scot free.
     
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  3. Brian76

    Brian76 Member

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    Hi Rod thanks for taking the time to help.

    I guess questions and answers lead to more questions and answers and in this case, I probably have a few and would truly appreciate any time you have to help answer some of them.

    In regards to the registers, up to half a dozen or more kids have access to it on any given day, whether it be delivery drivers doing there floats, kitchen staff being sent to the supermarket for goods or the front of counter staff. This being said, I'm unsure as to how he's come up with this figure and how he can prove such claims? Even if there's video footage it would only prove guilt, not the amount stolen as there's no way of checking what the money that was taken was used for.

    He stated to us he suspected he had been stealing for awhile and had caught him a few months prior. Now would it not be, as an employer of a minor, the employer's duty of care to inform the parent or guardian of such things? If so, this situation may of been avoided. What chance do you think he will have to repay any of the money? He's stated he will have him charged and reclaim his loses through his insurance but again I'm guessing they would also need proof?

    On another note, I guess my main concern is what will happen to my son. Being a minor at the time and as you stated previously, the matter will be dealt with in the children's court. I know it's only speculation but if you were to speculate, what do you think would be the outcome?

    I'm worried that he will have a conviction recorded but would I be right in saying his name would not be able to be put in the local newspaper court cases?

    I feel he's painting a really bad picture so it makes his random act of kindness of giving him $4000 seem like a great deal for us where as I feel threatening to go to the police if we don't pay within 2 weeks almost feels like blackmail.

    Again, Rod, I appreciate your response and hope to hear from you again soon.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I'm not prepared to give false hope to you, especially when I have no experience dealing with a children's court. Recommend you talk to a criminal lawyer or community legal centre for advice tailored to your situation.

    You, and your son, should not be making any admissions to anyone about theft, this includes ex-employer and police until after you have some proper legal advice. You can talk to the ex-employer about making a 'problem' go away but not about specifics such as theft. Chances are that anything said to the police will be used against you. Remember police won't be talking to your son to find out he's innocent. They will be looking for ways to prove guilt.

    There's a possibility, don't know how real it is, that the police will tell the ex-employer you have no proof we can't help you.

    I'd like to help more but I'm not qualified and don't have enough facts.

    Things may work out alright in the end or things may not go as well as you'd like, but based on what you have said so far it is very unlikely to be really bad news (eg jail time).

    If you have the money and can afford it, pay the money and the hope problem goes away, but be prepared for the problem to resurface if the ex-employer is a spiteful character. Otherwise if you can't afford it or want to fight on principle or don't trust the ex-employer, get legal advice and take a chance on the legal system.
     
  5. Brian76

    Brian76 Member

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    Thanks, Rod.

    Not having the money means only one option and that's to let the courts handle things.

    My son did the wrong thing and has admitted to doing so. I'm just hopeful that it being a first offence, he will be dealt with in a manner that will enable him to learn and move on without it affecting his future prospects.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Has the employer gone to the cops yet? What has been put in writing?

    I would refuse all contact with the employer. BTW offering an $8000 payment to avoid court ain't 'out of the kindness of his own heart'. It is extortion /blackmail.

    The kid is likely to get a good behaviour bond.

    So if he is called to the cop shop go with him. Listen, but do not make any statements. Be polite. That is all. Ask questions and when the cops say look an admission now would be the best thing, realise this, what they mean is it would be the best thing for them because they won't have to investigate. Then go see a solicitor. But until then do nothing.

    But if you have written evidence of the attempt at blackmail then keep that quiet and mention it only when you speak to the solicitor if it goes that far.

    Let's hope it doesn't. Take your kid for a long walk and have a chat about how he needs to learn from his mistakes.
     

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