CONTROVERSY over youth bail laws has shot back into the limelight in Cairns after a 17-year-old repeat offender allegedly killed a six-month-pregnant woman and her partner in a crash in Brisbane.

It may be a different city but it was the same state and the same laws - and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is demanding answers.

Speaking in Cairns, she said questions needed to be asked about why new laws mandating that youth offenders deemed a risk to the community be denied bail weren't applied in the case of a 17-year-old repeat offender who allegedly killed a six-month-pregnant woman and her partner in a crash on Tuesday.

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with State MP for Cairns Michael Healy. Picture: Brendan Radke
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with State MP for Cairns Michael Healy. Picture: Brendan Radke

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Kate Leadbetter, 31, and partner Matty Field, 37, were out for a walk in Brisbane's Alexandra Hills where they were fatally struck, allegedly by the youth driving a stolen LandCruiser.

"It is horrific and we want answers, the family wants answers, the community wants answers and I want answers," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"If the (bail laws) need to be tightened and strengthened then of course we will do that."

Far North Queenslanders were entitled to expect that youth offenders deemed to pose a risk were kept in custody and not granted bail.

State MP for Cairns Michael Healy said offenders being granted bail had been an issue for the region.

"The laws were strengthened last year to make it crystal clear that offenders who pose a risk to the community must be kept in custody, the community expects it, and I expect the same thing," Mr Healy said.

"As far as I am concerned we have strengthened those laws, and if any offender appearing before a court poses a risk to the community, magistrates must keep them in custody.

"These are decisions made by the judiciary."

Originally published as 'We want answers': Questions asked about bail for repeat offenders



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