Oz teens plead guilty to terrorising Indians in 'Punji hunting' spree

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Canberra, Nov 12 (ANI): A Victorian judge has suggested that some youths should be "put in a dark cupboard at 16 and brought out again at age 25" after hearing how two teenagers terrorised Indian victims in a four-day racist rampage between December 7 and December 11 last year.

County Court Judge Liz Gaynor rebuked Julius Medina and Peter Salapura, who went "Punji hunting" to terrorise and rob Indian victims.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid young men. No offence to the men in the court today, but (some) boys should be put into a dark cupboard at 16 and brought out again at age 25," The Herald Sun quoted Judge Gaynor, as saying.

Both teens, along with seven other youths, were arrested by the police in December.

The court heard Medina attacked six Indian men in a four-day rampage in St Albans and Taylors Lakes in December last year. All of the victims, aged between 19 and 26, were walking on the street at night when confronted by Medina and up to six co-accused.

Medina, a chef involved in the Jamie Oliver Fifteen program for troubled teens, threatened one victim with a knife and another three victims with an imitation pistol. Salapura was involved in two of the robberies, the paper said.

Five of the six victims were reportedly robbed of their wallets and mobile phones, while several were punched and beaten with a metal bar. However, both the teens were not charged with injuring the victims.

Medina pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted armed robbery, two counts of robbery and one count of armed robbery, while Salapura pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery.

Five of the boys pleaded guilty in the Children's Court, charges against another youth were discharged and an 18-year-old is awaiting trial at the County Court in August next year, the paper added.

Prosecutor Amelia Macknay told the court the group discussed going "Punji hunting" before setting out to rob the Indian men.These were group attacks on vulnerable victims who are minding their own business at night," Macknay said.

Medina and Salapura's bail was reportedly extended and they will be sentenced next month. (ANI)

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