A District Court judge has lashed out at an apathetic teenager who fronted court in offensive attire.
Wearing a black muscle shirt with the words “Thug Life” sprawled on the front, Faufata Filipo appeared in the dock at Penrith District Court last Friday to be sentenced for break and enter.
In a stinging exchange, Judge Mark Buscombe brought home the seriousness of his actions after it quickly became evident the 18-year-old was trivialising matters.
“Do you think that’s appropriate attire to wear to court when you’re being sentenced for an aggravated break, enter and steal offence,” Judge Buscombe scolded.
“Do you think I sit here and not notice whether young men like you take this seriously?”
When he asked Filipo if he had a lawyer, “nup” came the reply.
“Is your family here?”
“No,” Felipo replied.
“Do they think you’re coming home?”
“Well they might be wrong. Do you know what this carries? 20 years imprisonment, that’s what it carries,” he bellowed.
The court heard the Oxley Park resident had been drinking at St Marys’ Monfarville Reserve on November 12, 2015 when he and two co-offenders broke into the canteen, making off with bag fulls of food and confectionery as well as St Marys Baseball Club-branded clothing.
Making a mess with food stuffs, the group ransacked the canteen and stole the club’s Eftpos machine and cash register, with the latter found dumped on the roof of the dugout void of cash.
When confronted by police shortly after, both Filipo and his co-offender, Mike Anufe, 19, fled the scene, with Anufe handing himself in two weeks later.
When asked why he didn’t report to police for the purposes of preparing his pre-sentence report, Filipo told Judge Buscombe, “I forgot”.
“Do you really think I’m going to wear that,” he roared.
“You answer me when I ask you a question,” he added when Filipo didn’t respond.
“You’re skating on the thinnest of ice.”
Conversely, Anufe, who sat next to Filipo at the opposite end of the dock, had done “everything asked of him”, Judge Buscombe said.
Anufe was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and pay $1,423.40 in damages to St Marys Baseball Club.
“He’s received 200 hours of community service… which means I’ve been lenient,” Judge Buscombe said.
“If he doesn’t want to do it, that’s fine, he’ll be going to jail… and his parents will be crying in the back of the court again.”
Filipo has been given to October 21 to seek legal representation.
Alena Higgins is the Weekender’s Senior News Reporter, primarily covering courts and Council issues.