Former Detective Slams Talk Of Raising The Criminal Age Of Responsibility Followed By A Crash In Maryborough

Killed three people

Article heading image for Former Detective Slams Talk Of Raising The Criminal Age Of Responsibility Followed By A Crash In Maryborough

Queensland Police

A 13-year-old Bundaberg boy allegedly driving a stolen Mercedes-Benz has been charged over a crash that killed three people in Maryborough, 250 kilometres north of Brisbane. 

The stolen vehicle was travelling south on Saltwater Creek Road around 10:45 pm on Sunday when it collided with a Holden, causing it to veer into oncoming traffic and crash into a Mazda.

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A 29-year-old Maryborough woman Michale Chandler and a 17-year-old Oakhurst girl died, while another 23-year-old Tinana woman was in critical condition in hospital.

The driver and sole occupant of the Mazda, 52-year-old Torquay nurse Sheree Robertson, died at the scene.

The 13-year-old who was allegedly driving the Mercedes-Benz suffered minor injuries to his foot. He has been charged with three counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

On Tuesday this week, he faced a closed sitting of the Maryborough Children’s Court.


A former Queensland detective and associate professor at Bond University, Dr Terry Goldsworthy, asked the state government to back away from any plans to raise the age of criminal responsibility after the crash in Maryborough.

“No surprise Queensland youth crime has reached this latest dark point,” Dr Goldsworthy wrote.

He said people need to think very seriously before raising the age. “If not, the event turns out, 13-year-old, for instance, does get involved in the incident we have seen like the weekend, that 13-year-old would not be criminally responsible,” he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her heart went out to the families affected by the fatal collision.

“I think all Queenslanders share our absolute sadness about the tragedy,” the premier said Tuesday.

However, she refused to be drawn on calls for recidivist juvenile offenders to be sentenced as adults and ruled out any introduction of curfews.

“We’ve just passed tougher laws, and it’s going to take time for those laws to take effect for the judiciary to understand the complexity of those laws.”

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Caitlin Duan

3 May 2023

Article by:

Caitlin Duan

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