Thursday, July 25, 2024

Indian-origin teen accused of killing Australia’s top cop’s son granted bail

An Indian-origin teen has been granted bail after he allegedly killed the 18-year-old son of South Australia’s top police officer by hitting him with his car last week.

Police said Dhirren Randhawa, 18, struck pedestrian Charlie Stevens on Friday night in Goolwa, about 90 km south-east of Adelaide, and did not stop his car.

“The car involved in the collision did not stop at the scene but was located by police a short distance away on Port Elliot Road at Goolwa,” South Australia’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Linda Williams, said.

Son of South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, Charlie suffered an irreversible brain injury and died at Flinders Medical Centre on Saturday night, surrounded by his family.

Randhawa from Encounter Bay appeared via audio-visual link before Christies Beach magistrates court on Monday and his bail application was not opposed, ABC News Australia reported.

He has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated driving without due care, leaving the scene of a crash after causing death and failing to truly answer questions.

Director of Public Prosecutions Martin Hinton KC did not oppose Randhawa’s bail application, but asked for conditions to be imposed on the accused.

While Randhawa’s driving licence has been disqualified indefinitely, Hinton also asked for surrender of his passport, and to not contact four people whose names were read to the court.

Randhawa’s lawyer, Jane Abbey KC, told the court that her client was willing to meet those conditions. Abbey told the court that Randhawa’s mother has agreed to act as his guarantor, and provide a guarantee of AUS 15,000 dollars. According to ABC, Randhawa remained quiet and listened to the proceedings with his hands on his lap.

He is due to face Adelaide magistrates court in March 2024.

In a statement, police commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife thanked police, first responders and other emergency services workers who attended to their son after the incident.

Offering condolences to the Stevens family and Charlie’s friends, Deputy Commissioner Williams said: “We always talk about this happening to other people, but the reality is that it can happen to anyone, any family or any community. The sense of grief is always enormous. I ask that you respect the privacy of those grieving at this time.”

“He has shown extraordinary leadership in some of the most difficult circumstances this state has ever confronted and it is just so unjust that he and his family have now had to endure this great tragedy themselves,” South Australia’s Premier, Peter Malinauskas, said.

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