Teen Who Planted Needles On Train Seat Walks Free
A teenager has claimed he was drunk and "not thinking" when he allegedly planted dozens of needles on a public train seat.
The 16-year-old faced a children's court on Tuesday, where he apologised for his actions and was released on a diversion program.
The teenager was caught on CCTV putting about 20 needles into the train seat on January 7, 2019.
Anthony Artusa was pricked by the needles the next morning on his commute after boarding the train at West Footscray in Melbourne's inner-west just before 8am.
The prosecution told the court Artusa has been left "mentally traumatised" after thinking the needles he'd sat on where contaminated.
As for the youth at the centre of the alleged crime, if he continues to go to school and behave well, the recklessly cause injury charge will be dropped.
The teen's lawyer argued the alleged crime was a spur of the moment act, saying he'd purchased the needles to open his phone, not to deliberately vandalise a public train.
“He wants to write an apology letter to his victim. He feels really awful about it," the boy's lawyer said in court.
Police launched a hunt for the boy after Artusa posted images of the needles on social media, warning other travellers of the possible danger.
“Had a lovely surprise this morning when I sat on a seat with around 20 needles sticking out of it," Artusa wrote on social media at the time.
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