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Sydney rampage student receives good behaviour bond

A Christian Brothers College Waverley student was yesterday sentenced in Waverley Local Court to an 18-month good behaviour bond without a conviction being recorded against his name after he pleaded guilty to one count of causing malicious damage.

Late last month, drunken students went on an end-of-year rampage at Bondi Beach, smashing cars, breaking windows and ripping up road signs.

Outside court, he said: "I'd like to apologise to the community, that's all I'd like to say."

Along with an unknown co-offender, he had picked up a traffic barricade and speared it through the window of a Suzuki Vitara parked on the street. The car's bonnet was damaged and its windows smashed.

Magistrate Caroline Barkell said he and his colleagues had acted on a "mob mentality" and "had brought the school into such disrepute and shame".

While she found the behaviour reprehensible, she said she was impressed that Ballard had turned himself into the police the following day.

"I will also take into account your early plea of guilty . . . as well as the assistance he gave to police in regards to the names of other offenders," she said.

Ms Barkell said she was convinced he was "remorseful and contrite" after reading a letter from Waverley College's headmaster Brother Wallace.

"This incident was very much out of character and I accept the particular reference from Brother Wallace," she said. "He was satisfied that you were genuinely remorseful."

The student's barrister Gabrielle Bashir said her client was regarded as a "quiet and thoughtful boy who is usually the peacemaker".

She said he had been heavily punished as he had been suspended from school, could not sit his HSC on the school grounds, was barred from any revision seminars and could not attend the school formal.

His graduation ceremony, which involves Waverley College headmaster Brother Wallace washing the feet of the Year 12 students - reminiscent of the Last Supper - has also been cancelled.

Three other students including also fronted court yesterday charged with causing malicious damage.

The first two pleaded not guilty and will face court on November 12, while Vaniersel will be sentenced on November 27 after pleading guilty.

Many other students who are under age have been dealt with via a caution from the police.

Daily Telegraph

Christian Brothers' school 'sorry' for rampage (27/9/02)
Waverley College | Media Statement from the Headmaster Br RJ Wallace | Headmaster's letter to parents regarding the Year 12 incidents(26/9/02)
Bondi Beach Incident (NSW Police)

16 Oct 2002