Panic in Morningside: Family Lock Themselves During Home Invasion By Teens

Morningside family lock themselves from thieves
Photo Credit: QPS

A Morningside family cowered inside a locked bedroom in terror when a group of teens broke into their home, in the latest of a series of home invasions that police say have seen homes in up to eight Brisbane suburbs targeted in quick succession within the past few days.

Details of the Ordeal

Robyn Sinclair and her family experienced sheer terror early Wednesday morning, 10 July 2024,  when a group of teenagers forcibly entered their home.  Sinclair, along with her husband Doug Newnham and their two young children, barricaded themselves in a bedroom.

Amid the chaos, the parents tried to protect their children and themselves whilst continuously informing the invaders that the police had been called. Unfortunately, their warnings seemed to provoke the teenagers further. The offenders, described as hooded youths, then attempted to force their way into the family’s barricaded bedroom, damaging the door and door frame significantly, whilst demanding car keys. 

The terrifying experience has left the family deeply shaken, fearing for the long-term psychological effects on their young children. Queensland Police are investigating the incident, which occurred shortly after 1:30 a.m. They have confirmed that while the offenders left without stealing any property, they left behind a trail of psychological and physical damage.

Morningside family lock themselves from thieves
Photo Credit: QPS

Widespread Crime Spree

The assault on their home is believed to be part of a larger string of burglaries and car thefts that have plagued Brisbane during the week. Teenagers allegedly forcing entry to homes in MacGregor and Sunnybank, and climbing a fence to enter property in Paddington, are among the appalling scenes captured on CCTV footage by terrified homeowners.

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In response to this and similar incidents across the Brisbane area, police have intensified their search for the group. They are reviewing CCTV footage from affected areas and conducting patrols in high-risk suburbs to deter further incidents. 

Queensland Police spokesperson urged the community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities. The police also highlight the importance of community collaboration in these efforts, encouraging the public to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 with any information that could lead to the apprehension of the suspects.

In light of these events, Ms Sinclair, a healthcare worker, stressed the importance of securing homes and being vigilant. She remarked on the broader social issues contributing to such crimes, including mental health issues and socio-economic pressures. The family, though safe, remains on high alert.

Ms Sinclair gave this exclusive interview to 9News:

Adult Crime, Adult Time?

In line with this Morningside incident, a proposal to apply adult sentences to juveniles for serious crimes has ignited a complex discussion on the most effective approach to juvenile justice. During the recent convention of the LNP, David Crisafulli, the party’s leader, suggested that juveniles found guilty of serious offenses such as murder should receive adult sentences. He believes that this change would ensure that the consequences align with the severity of the crimes committed.

However, this proposal has met with skepticism from various advocacy groups, who question its efficacy in deterring crime. Katherine Hayes, CEO of the Youth Advocacy Centre, pointed out a lack of evidence supporting the idea that longer sentences curb reoffending. She emphasised that current measures already impose significant penalties on young offenders, with Queensland recording the highest youth incarceration rates in the country.

Katherine Hayes
Photo Credit: Youth Advocacy Centre

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties has also weighed in, suggesting that the focus should perhaps shift towards addressing findings from the auditor-general’s report on juvenile justice. This report highlighted a need for better rehabilitation and educational opportunities for juveniles to decrease future offences genuinely.

The Justice Reform Initiative has voiced worries that harsher penalties could lead to deeper entrenchment of youths in the criminal justice system, ultimately increasing their likelihood of reoffending as adults.

Whilst the debate continues, experts agree that a balanced approach focusing on rehabilitation alongside appropriate penalties might offer a more effective solution to reducing juvenile crime.

Published 11-July-2024