A teenager accused of stabbing a man in an alleged Sudanese gang murder has refused to go to court – instead deciding to sleep in his jail cell.
The 17-year-old Victorian boy was charged with murder after allegedly stabbing a 25-year-old to death in North Terrace, in Adelaide’s CBD, during the early hours of Anzac Day.
The teen was one of four males who were arrested at Adelaide airport following the fatal brawl while allegedly trying to flee back to Victoria.
He was due to face the Youth Court on Tuesday, but his case proceeded in his absence after Remand Centre Staff reported he did not want to attend.
‘We’ve tried to get him up but he’s pulled the quilt over his head, rolled over and will not move,’ a staffer told the court via video link, The Advertiser reports.
‘He’s covered his head, he’s refusing to come in.’
A boy was charged with murder as part of Operation Meld – which saw police make a total of 16 arrests over several separate incidents on Monday and Tuesday
Counsel for the boy, whose identity is legally suppressed due to his age, did not apply for bail for his client.
The Meadow Heights boy, who has also been charged with aggravated affray and travelling under a false name, was remanded in custody to face court next week.
Police prosecutors had asked the for media to be excluded from the hearing arguing the case was ‘extremely complex’ and in its ‘ very infant stages’.
However, the request was declined after the media outlet successfully insisted the case was in the public interest.
Police subsequently adjourned the case and said the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will now take over the matter and seek ‘targeted suppression orders’.
The three other Victorians arrested at the airport – aged 21, 18, and 16 – have been charged with aggravated affray.
The 18-year-old also faces an additional charge of travelling under a false name.
Just after 2am, police were called to North Terrace after a man was found lying on the road fighting for his life at an intersection after he was allegedly attacked by a gang
Police will allege the murder accused was part of a gang that chased down the 25-year-old man, also from Victoria, before he was stabbed multiple times in the chest.
He was found by police lying on the road at the intersection of North Terrace and George Street and sadly died at the scene.
South Australia Police said the attack did ‘not appear to be a random incident’.
Investigations into the matter continue.
Detectives from Operation Meld, a taskforce launched last July to combat Adelaide youth gang violence, have arrested another 12 men since the alleged stabbing for unrelated matters.
CCTV footage led officers to a hotel on Franklin Street where police arrested seven people before a car was spotted two hours later and five more were arrested.
Officers searched the blue Holden sedan and found two knives, a machete and cash.
The five occupants, including a homeless 16-year-old, two 18-year-olds, a 20-year-old and a 25-year-old man were arrested for carrying an offensive weapon.
The vehicle was seized for forensic examination. All men were refused bail or did not apply for bail and appeared at Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
About an hour later a black Mazda sedan was stopped by police on Pirie Street and a 19-year-old was arrested for breach of bail.
A silver Holden sedan was seized in a nearby lane and a knife was found in the back seat. Detectives are also investigating a hotel on Hindmarsh Square.
The seven other men arrested earlier – aged from 19-23 – were on unrelated matters ranging from outstanding arrest warrants to assault charges and alleged weapons offences.
The 25-year-old man had multiple stab wounds to his chest and died shortly after officers arrived.
Several men lie on the ground as police made mass arrests in Adelaide during the early hours of Anzac Day
All were refused bail or did not apply for bail and appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
One of the men, Banok Banok, 22, faced court on Tuesday charged with possessing an offensive weapon and possessing articles of disguise as well as breaching bail.
The court heard he had previously been released on bail for an aggravated affray incident, with conditions stating he must stay home between 10pm and 6am.
Police officers had attended his Palowrie home at 4.50am on April 25 and allegedly could not find him, with Mr Banok arrested an hour later at the Quest Hotel, the court heard.
The two 16 year olds arrested – one at the airport and one in the car – also faced court on Tuesday, where neither applied for bail and were both remanded in custody to front another hearing next week.
Operation Meld was launched by SA police last July, after a spate of violent brawls and crimes in Adelaide’s northern and western suburbs.
Police said these crimes involved teenagers from the city’s Sudanese community.