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The Advertiser, Adelaide, 7 January 1956
Fathers To Punish Boys
Two 16-year-old youths, who admitted having caused damage estimated at £70 to a car were ordered in the Adelaide Juvenile Court yesterday to undergo "reasonable" punishment, to be administered by their parents in the presence of a detective.
Mr. R.F. Newman, SM, who referred to a "plethora of idiotic conduct" coming before the court, also made what is believed to be the first order of its kind in the Juvenile Court, releasing the names of the defendants for publication.
The order was made on the application of Assistant Police Prosecutor Huffa, who said too many young offenders thought they could hide under the anonymity normally given to defendants under 18.
White also admitted having broken into a shop at Windsor Gardens on December 13 and stolen cigarettes worth £8.12/4 and 3/- in cash.
Report To Court
All the charges were adjourned until next Friday, to enable a report to be made to the court on the punishment which White's father and Hill's stepfather had agreed to administer.
APP Huffa said the youths had taken an unlocked car, owned by Enrico Cosimo Pezzaniti, from Brooklyn Park and driven it to Gawler where they had abandoned it.
Describing the damage to Pezzaniti's car, APP Huffa said the defendants had slashed the seat covers and upholstery and torn off the sun visors with a sheath knife.
They had also damaged the hood lining, the body, two doors, lights and rear vision mirror.
White's father said his son was a regular churchgoer but had associated with other young people at a milk bar.
The boy's mother had believed for some time that a hiding would do him good.
Mr. K.V. Kerin appeared for Hill, whom [sic], APP Huffa said, had been released on a bond last May, after admitting a shopbreaking charge.
The News, Adelaide, 9 January 1956, p.1
Parents cane boys in front of detectives
Two 16-year-old boys were thrashed by their parents in front of a detective this morning for delinquency.
Each received six cuts with a 3-ft. long stick about one and a half inches wide.
The punishment was ordered by Mr. Newman, SM, in Adelaide Juvenile Court on Friday.
The youths had admitted causing £70 damage to a car, and two charges of unlawfully using cars.
The youths were Robert Walter Charles Hill, of Brooklyn Park, and Dean Stuart White, of Thebarton.
Mr. Newman released the defendants' names for publication, making what is believed to be the first order of its kind in the Juvenile Court.
He adjourned all charges until next Friday when a report would be made to the court on today's punishment.
The publication of names was a step in the right direction to stop juvenile delinquency, a police officer said today.
The fact that publication of names would bring discredit on their families would help pull youngsters up, he said.
The thought of physical punishment from their parents would also act as a strong deterrent.
Truth, Adelaide, 14 January 1956
Boy Is Sorry Now
Thrashing By Father After Court Order
A 16-YEARS-OLD delinquent boy who was thrashed by his father this week under a court order told Truth afterwards that he was heartily sorry for his offences.
He said: "It hurt. I got six strokes on the behind with a length of wood two inches wide. Another stroke and I would have fainted. I had to have a compress applied later."
THE boy is Robert Walter Charles Hill of Burbridge Street, Brooklyn Park, who with another 16-years-old, Dean Stuart White, of South Terrace, Thebarton, had admitted in Adelaide Juvenile Court a few days before to unlawfully using cars and causing wilful damage of £70 to a car.
Mr. Newman S.M. then made Juvenile Court history by releasing the names of the boys for publication. He also took the rare step of ordering corporal chastisement by their parents in the presence of a detective.
Mr. Newman ordered this punishment after a plea by Assistant Police Prosecutor G.H. Huffa, who pointed out that it would be a suitable case for the magistrate to exercise the powers he has under section 12 of the Juvenile Courts Act.
Robert Hill's mother told Truth she had seen her son punished.
"It was awful and I am heartbroken but knowing how much it has affected Robert, his stepfather and myself are willing to take it," she said.
"I think that the publicity and means of punishment was a progressive move by the magistrate. Robert will never do wrong again.
"Boys who realise that their offence will bring just as severe punishment to their parents may stop and think before they step out of line."
'Won't Happen Again'
Robert told Truth: "The thrashing meant nothing compared to what I have done to mum and dad. Nothing like it will ever happen again."
The father of Dean Stuart White, the other boy who was ordered a thrashing, told Truth that, as long as justice was applied consistently and the two boys were not just "guinea pigs," he favoured parents administering punishment and the names being released.
"Dean's mother and myself can stand it now because we are sure the punishment has made a lasting impression on our boy," he said.
"Dean told me: 'I am still quite sore.'"
A heavy sheath knife was produced in court by police as the one the youths had used on the car. Damage was estimated at more than £70, Mr. Huffa said.
White had gone to Hill's home on December 20 and suggested, "We'll pull off a job and get some money," Mr. Huffa told the court.
Hill and White had driven to Gawler in the car. On the way the pair slashed the car seats and ripped off fittings.
Mr. Newman S.M. then said: "Something must be done to stop these boys. Their actions were disgraceful and most reprehensible.
"There have always been bad boys, but this generation seems to be over the fence altogether.
"I feel these boys have to learn they've got it coming to them. They're old enough to realise they shouldn't have done what they did here.
"I have noticed the careless disregard of these youths in the few days I have been sitting here."
Mr. Newman said he could not see how the interests of justice could be served by hiding the identities of Hill and White.
Mr. Newman also made use of powers under the Maintenance Act when he adjourned the charges against the youths to enable a close relative to administer "reasonable" punishment in the presence of a police officer.
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