Emotions continue to run high in Levin as three teenage girls charged with attacking and robbing a 90-year-old woman in her home made their second Youth Court appearance on Tuesday.
One teen had to enter Levin District Court through a side door amid concerns for her safety, while the family of another dismissed the lawyer they had been allocated, citing a relationship breakdown.
The three accused teens, aged 14 and 15, have also had two new charges brought against them in addition to the original charge of aggravated robbery.
They will now also be charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and taking, obtaining or using a credit or bank card.
The three teens allegedly entered the elderly woman’s Levin home on November 2 after saying they needed to use the toilet.
It is alleged she was then beaten repeatedly and kicked while on the ground.
Court documents show a handbag, camera and small amount of cash were reported stolen.
The victim had to crawl to the phone in order to call for help after the alleged attackers left the property.
Two teenage girls were arrested not long after, with the third arrested a day later.
The first teen to appear on Tuesday was ushered through a separate entrance, with lawyer Michael Scott telling the court there were concerns about several groups of people waiting outside the court room and on the street.
Scott said there was “the potential for protesters” outside.
The father of one of the other teens later told Judge Gerard Lynch he wanted the best lawyer for his daughter, and requested to officially dismiss her current representation.
He had not yet organised a replacement, he said.
The request was permitted, with Judge Lynch telling the man he was losing an experienced youth advocate and may have to privately fund another lawyer.
The court heard that a full disclosure of evidence about the alleged offending was being prepared this week.
Judge Lynch requested it was as comprehensive as possible and may help establish “where culpability lies”, he said.
The three teens will appear again in December.