Magistrate recommends mental health check for Sydney teenager charged with terror offence

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun11,2024
Key Points
  • A boy charged over a stabbing attack on a Sydney bishop has shown behaviour consistent with mental illness, his lawyer says.
  • The boy has been charged with committing a terrorist act.
  • The maximum sentence for the offence is life in prison.
A 16-year-old boy facing a possible life term in prison for terrorism has shown behaviour consistent with mental illness or intellectual disability, his lawyer said in court on Friday.
The boy allegedly made comments in Arabic that referred to insults against “my Prophet” before stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel during a church service in Sydney on Monday night.

Bishop Emmanuel has publicly criticised Islam and other religions.

Investigators from a joint counter-terrorism team, incorporating state and federal police and ASIO staff, interviewed the boy in his hospital bed on Thursday before charging him with committing a terrorist act.
The Commonwealth offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The teenager did not appear during a brief mention of the case at Parramatta Children’s Court on Friday. He was refused bail at a bedside hearing.

A brief of evidence is due to be served when the matter returns to court on 14 June.
The 16-year-old’s lawyer, Greg Scragg, said he may seek an earlier date, having been instructed the boy had a long history of behaviour consistent with a mental illness or intellectual disability.
“We may seek to bring this matter back earlier if a question arises in relation to his treatment or assessment for those conditions whilst he’s in custody,” he told the court.

The magistrate made a recommendation for the boy to be assessed by JusticeHealth while in custody.

Bishop Emmanuel was stabbed up to six times, causing serious lacerations to his head, while a priest was also injured in the attack.
The teenager was also injured during the attack and its aftermath.

Police are also hunting for as many as 50 people involved in a riot that unfolded after the incident at the Assyrian church.

Dozens of police were injured, their cars vandalised and a cohort of officers and paramedics were forced to shelter inside the place of worship, prompting religious leaders to call for calm.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said extra police were out in force with a high-visibility operation “for as long as needed to reassure the community we are there to keep them safe”.
“We have deployed extra officers since Monday night, particularly in southwest Sydney but across Sydney to patrol places of worship,” she said.
“The community should have no concerns for their safety.”
In an audio message, Bishop Emmanuel said he forgave his attacker and called on his followers to obey the law.
“I need you to act Christ-like, the Lord Jesus never taught us to fight,” he said in the message from hospital, shared on Thursday.

Dani Mansour, 19, from Doonside, was the first person to be charged over the public disorder incident.

He appeared in court on Thursday, saying he made a mistake but he was “pissed off” at officers who had hurt people outside the church.
He allegedly filmed himself kicking two police cars during the riot before uploading the footage to Instagram.
Readers seeking support with mental health can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. More information is available at 

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Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Magistrate recommends mental health check for Sydney teenager charged with terror offence”
  1. Does the article mention any details about the boy’s past interactions with mental health professionals or his previous medical history?

  2. Do you think the boy’s mental health should be taken into account when determining the outcome of this case?

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