A 19-year-old youth is facing prison after admitting rolling a Toyota Hilux and causing up to $20,000 damage.
Among more than 100 matters at Katherine Juvenile Court today, the court heard the youth also admitted driving without a licence, trespass and breaching bail twice.
While defence counsel fought for a rehabilitation order, Judge Macdonald said the serious nature of the offence warranted a jail sentence.
"If he was an adult he would certainly be sent to jail," Judge Macdonald said.
"It is extremely fortunate your client is here today."
According to defense counsel, the defendant was considered a youth at the time he drove the car, registered to a business, last year in December.
It was "essentially a joy ride situation," defense counsel said.
The car rolled approximately four times and it was unknown if the young boy or his passengers were wearing seat belts.
The crash was a wake up call, defense counsel said.
"Losing control of the car and rolling put the fear into the [young boy] and he quickly realised the harm that could have been inflicted on his step brother and other road users."
The court heard the 19-year-old had a troubled upbringing; both parents were heavy drinkers. He lost his mother at a young age and was part of a "chaotic" schooling environment.
Despite these drawbacks, he participated in CDP, routinely attended football training and games and was "certainly eager to work".
The court heard the young boy had asked to be considered for a bed at Venndale Rehabilitation to overcome his issues with alcohol.
However, the judge said he was concerned with the course of action saying "since he is an adult, corrections seems to be the only appropriate conclusion".
"The harm is significant in that the vehicle was written off."
The matter has been adjourned and will be heard on March 29, at Katherine Local Court.
Released on bail today, the boy is under strict conditions to comply with a curfew from 9pm to 7am, and he must not consume alcohol, the court heard.
"You have heard my concerns, you are still on bail," Judge Macdonald said.
"Don't break the rules."
Katherine Juvenile Court is feeling the mounting pressure of youth crime as it struggles to get through cases.
Youth matters are heard fortnightly on a Friday, and the cases pile high.
Today, there were "over 100 matters on the list," Judge Greg Macdonald said.
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