Canberra Airport: Father who persuaded 14-year-old son to ride baggage carousel because he ‘thought it would be funny’ finds out his fate
A man avoided punishment after telling a judge he thought it would be “funny” to let his son ride on a baggage carousel and didn’t realize it was a crime.
The 58-year-old Brisbane business owner, who could not be named for legal reasons, persuaded his son to ride the carousel while he waited for his luggage at Canberra Airport on 2 July.
Officers spotted the 14-year-old jumping on the carousel on CCTV footage and reprimanded his father several days later when the family returned home.
The footage was also filmed by the boy’s younger brother, who handed his footage to police when his “shocked” father was questioned by police on July 9.
The man was charged with aiding and abetting entry into security restricted areas of an airport, to which he pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
A 58-year-old Brisbane businessman who persuaded his son to ride on a baggage carousel has avoided a $15,000 fine after a judge ruled there was no ill intent behind the prank .
Magistrate Jane Campbell dismissed the charge after the father admitted he was unaware of the criminal nature of the situation.
His lawyer, Satomi Hamon, told the court that his client “did not attempt to minimize the behavior and recognized the danger” of the act.
But the prosecution stressed the need to send a message to the public about the seriousness of airport security.
“Security at an airport is a major concern. It’s very fortunate that something didn’t happen to the child,” Commonwealth Attorney Natasha Purvis said as reported by the ABC.
“It is important that a strong message is sent to the public; an indication regarding an airport should be followed and not treated as a joke.
If convicted, the man faces a $15,000 fine.
Ms. Hamon argued that her client had no bad intentions and had simply “I didn’t appreciate the seriousness of it at the time.”
She told the court her client was particularly concerned about the impact a conviction would have on his ability to travel.
The stunt was also filmed by the boy’s younger brother, who handed his footage to police when the family was questioned by police as they tried to return home on July 9.
Magistrate Campbell agreed with Ms Hamon, finding that the man was “someone of excellent moral character” and that it would be “unnecessary to impose further sanctions”.
“This is a case where it demonstrates an error of judgment rather than anything else,” she said.
“I consider that in this case it was clearly a joke.”
Ms Campbell noted the man had previously been involved in charity work, had no criminal history and had not displayed any anti-social behaviour.
The charge was dismissed and no conviction was recorded.
“He learned a very important lesson, as did his son no doubt,” Ms Campbell said.