• Dylan Voller with his sister Kirra. (Elliana Lawford, NITV)
A Northern Territory court has decided to suspend Dylan Voller's sentence. His ankle bracelet and curfew have been removed.
By
NITV Staff Writers

Source:
NITV News
16 Jun 2017 - 5:03 PM  UPDATED 16 Jun 2017 - 6:02 PM

A Northern Territory magistrate has suspended Dylan Voller's sentence on Friday afternoon. Shortly after the decision was handed down, Mr Voller was taken aside to get his ankle bracelet removed. 

"I'm feeling so proud and thankful I have been given a chance," Mr Voller told NITV News.

“The Crown and the judge himself were raving about how well I went on bail and how good I did. I guess me getting a suspended sentence today was a reward for that,” he said.

Mr Voller told NITV News says his conditions will be similar to what he has now.

“Conditions are all the same, except for my ankle bracelet and curfew has been taken off," he said. 

The decision has been handed down after he completed a 16-week placement at BushMob, a rehabilitation program in Alice Springs. Mr Voller will continue attending the BushMob until October 7, the date in which he will officially become a free man.

A suspended sentence allows a judge to acknowledge the seriousness of an offence whilst suspending some or all the imprisonment period due to the particular circumstances of the case. 

Dylan Voller has now been out of detention for four months, his longest stint outside prison since first entering the system eight years ago, at just 11 years old.

Dylan Voller became the poster boy for the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory after the ABC's Four Corners aired the program "Australia's Shame" in July 2016, which revealed the mistreatment of youth inside Darwin's Don Dale Detention Centre. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the royal commission just a day after the broadcast.

In 2014, Voller was sentenced to three years and eight months for aggravated robbery. He says he punched a man and stole his wallet.

In February this year, Northern Territory Supreme Court Judge released Dylan Voller from prison eight months early, so he could complete the rehabilitation program in Alice Springs.

“It would be a condition Dylan Voller wear an electronic monitoring device, as well as comply with stringent conditions,” Justice Barr said at the time.

Justice Barr said his decision was influenced by Mr Voller's looming release date, and said if he wasn’t released into BushMob now, he would be released in eight months’ time without any “support or guidance”.

“This will give Mr Voller the opportunity to demonstrate good behavior in the community,” he said.

During the royal commission and during his placement in BushMob, Voller has repeatedly expressed remorse for past actions. 

“I'm disgusted in my behavior and really not proud of the things I did,” he told NITV News recently.

“I have accepted and admitted that I have done the wrong thing, I have made silly threats, I have abused prison staff, I’ve spat, I’ve kicked doors, I’ve done stuff like that, and yeah I do admit it, I have admitted to it and I know it was wrong,” he explained.

“But nothing like that justifies adult officers grabbing us kids by the necks, locking us in cells for long periods of time, and none of it justifies the behaviour that goes on in Don Dale from the staff, so I think it's just time that they all accept responsibility, because I think that’s the only way to, I guess, forgive the system and move on, is accepting what you’ve done is wrong.”

When asked about his plans for the future, Mr Voller told NITV News he wants to help vulnerable youth.

“Just helping out other young people in dangerous situations and being able to do as much as I can to help them.”

Mr Voller has a clear and powerful message to share with those going through similar experiences to his.

“Take responsibility for your actions when you know you’ve done something wrong, just admit to it and do what you can to turn it around.”

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