NSW police officers and SES personnel attend the scene of a fatal stabbing at the Queanbeyan Caltex service station. Photo by Karleen Minney. Photo: Karleen MinneyOne of two teenage boys allegedly involved in a terrifying crime spree, including the fatal stabbing of a service station attendant, was on bail at the time having previously been charged with a violent sexual assault with a weapon.
The 15- and 16-year-old youths appeared in a Sydney court on Sunday charged with murder, robbery, wound with intent, carjacking and aggravated break and enter with intent following a spate of offences on Thursday night and Friday morning in Queanbeyan, near the ACT border.
The older boy is also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was already on bail for aggravated sexual assault with a weapon and is due to face trial later this year.
Officers from the Joint Counter-Terrorism Taskforce are investigating if the most recent incidents are terror-related. Neither boy has been charged with any terrorism related offence.
They appeared before Parramatta Children’s Court on Sunday via videolink. They did not apply for bail and it was formally refused. They will reappear in court on Tuesday, again via videolink.
Court documents show the youths, both from the suburb of Queanbeyan, are charged with the murder of petrol station attendant Zeeshan Akbar between 8pm and 11.59pm on Thursday. They are further charged with robbing Mr Akbar of a cash drawer.
Police allege the youths then entered a house on Stornaway Road, Queanbeyan with the intention of stealing. Inside the older boy allegedly assaulted and inflicted bodily harm on the occupant.
A few hours later, between 3am and 7am, the youths entered a silver Ford Falcon sedan before allegedly assaulting the driver.
NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn on Friday said there was some evidence the spree could be terror-related or linked to drugs.
“We have two teenagers in custody and sufficient information to believe the actions of one of those teenagers may be related to terrorism,” she said.
“That information comes from physical evidence at the scene and other sources.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday that the circumstances of the stabbing warranted the involvement of the Joint Counter-Terrorism Team.
Police have told Fairfax Media that the victim’s blood was used to scrawl letters, possibly saying ISIS, on the window of the Caltex service station.
Fairfax Media understands the mother of the 16-year-old boy told police she thought her son had been radicalised in recent weeks, but no concrete links to religious extremism have emerged so far.
It’s understood the 16-year-old had made concerning Facebook posts related to Islamic State in recent weeks.
However, he also has a history of committing petty offences around the Queanbeyan area and allegedly had issues with the drug ice.
with Rachel Olding