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Teens in court over sword attack

FOUR teenagers charged in relation to the violent attack of an elderly couple in their Oakey home appeared before Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday.

The four accused – Leroy Barry John Brown, 18, Brian Lou Douglas Lawton, 17, Bradley Leonard Neil Gillis, 17, and a 16-year-old juvenile boy who cannot be named – are each charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company.

The accused were not required to enter any pleas to the charges.

Police claim a Samurai sword was used in the assault of couple Ruth and Edward Arundel, both 75, in their home about 1.30am Sunday.

Mr and Mrs Arundel had been asleep when the alleged intruders broke in.

Mr Arundel fought back but sustained a broken arm, deep bruising and cuts in the incident.

Police claim the teenagers also broke into the house next door to the Arundel’s residence.

Apprentice chef Gillis, 17, was granted bail with strict conditions including living with his grandparents in Toowoomba and abiding by a curfew, having no contact with his co-accused, the complainant couple or witnesses, staying out of Oakey while on remand and reporting to Toowoomba police three times a week.

Magistrate Kay Ryan remanded him to appear back in the same court for mention on June 17.

Lawton, of Oakey, was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear for committal mention on the charges in the same court on July 22.

Brown's solicitor Ross Finlayson asked that the court to be closed to the public while he made a bail application on his client’s behalf.

However, Magistrate Ryan said she would not close the court unless Mr Finlayson could show what part of the legislation gave her the power to do so.

Mr Finlayson said he hadn't had the chance to review the relevant legislation, but argued he had been advised by his client's carers that certain particulars relating to his client should not be put into the public arena.

He then asked that Brown's matters be adjourned over to tomorrow when a bail application may be made.

There being no application for bail, Ms Ryan remanded Brown in custody and adjourned his matters for mention in the same court this morning.

The 16-year-old juvenile appeared before the Toowoomba Children’s Court yesterday afternoon.

Mr and Mrs Arundel remain under observation in Oakey Hospital.


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