A 15-year-old boy arrested in counter-terrorism raids in Sydney on Thursday had been beneath surveillance for a lot more than a year and had been convicted on firearms charges, a court has heard.
The boy, who can’t be named for legal factors, was amongst a group of 5 men who have been on Thursday charged with conspiracy to conduct an act in preparation for a terrorist act.
He applied for bail at Parramatta Children’s Court by way of his barrister Charles Waterstreet.
Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Bruce Wells argued against the boy’s release and said he posed a threat to the safety of the community.
Sergeant Wells stated the boy utilized coded text messages to communicate with his co-accused about becoming a martyr.
In one message from October 2014, the boy mentioned “I’m going to get to paradise by means of banana, God is excellent, no God but Allah”.
The court heard the word “banana” was a coded reference for a gun.
Sergeant Wells also tendered a bundle of photographs of the boy to the court which showed him dressed in black and holding a shotgun.
Among the pictures police recovered were photographs of an Islamic State fighter and a image of an Islamic State beheading.
The boy had been the topic of three separate counter-terrorism raids more than the past two years Thursday’s raid was the third he had been the target of, the court heard.
He was residence alone in the first raid in 2013 exactly where police seized his PlayStation, telephone, laptop and documents.
In the second raid the boy was arrested and subsequently charged with possessing an unauthorised firearm and was provided an 18-month good behaviour bond.
Psychologist says boy suffered ongoing trauma
The boy’s clinical and forensic psychologist, Hannan Dover, told the court he had suffered ongoing trauma, anxiety, depression and paranoia as a outcome of the raids.
Ms Dover told the court the boy fears for his security soon after his property was raided by the Australian Federal Police while he was home alone.
“That incident was a total shock and horror,” she said.
Ms Dover said the boy now has difficulty consuming, has frequent nightmares and sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor of his parents bedroom.
She also told the court that the boy was paranoid and had the feeling he was consistently being watched.
“He doesn’t have a lot of trust in people,” she stated.
“One particular of his closest pals was approached by ASIO and provided gym memberships to talk about [the boy].”
The boy’s father supplied up $ 400,000 dollars in money and house to safe his son’s release on bail.
He told the court he would be willing for the boy to stay in property detention and would surrender his phone and report daily to police.
“Of course,” he said.
“He’s loved dearly by us and we’ll stand by him.”
Magistrate Elizabeth Ryan has reserved her selection till Friday.
Subjects: crime, law-crime-and-justice, courts-and-trials, terrorism, sydney-2000, australia, nsw, georges-hall-2198, parramatta-2150