A TEENAGER who, as part of a group, allegedly bashed and robbed a fast food employee as he walked to work late at night was yesterday refused bail.

A Children’s Court heard the 17-year-old was on three sets of bail when he allegedly committed the robbery in the Bridge Mall in Ballarat at 11.30pm on March 5.

Police allege that four days later, the accused youth and co-offenders also robbed a 14-year-old boy in a Ballarat street.

The arresting officer told the court that despite having only entered the justice system for the first time in September last year, the youth’s offending had “escalated rapidly” in a short time and likened him and his group of co-offenders to wolves hunting in packs.

Police opposed bail, saying he posed an unacceptable risk of further offending and was a danger to innocent citizens.

The court heard the 19-year-old fast food employee was randomly attacked for his backpack after he walked past them on his way to work.

“The accused spends time in the street with people known to engage in criminal behaviour,” the police officer told the court.

The youth’s defence lawyer argued his one night in custody had a sobering effect on him and asked the magistrate to consider releasing him under a youth supervision order.

She said he had “couch-surfed” since the death of his grandmother, his legal guardian, three years ago and now had a stable residential address with his aunt and sister.

However, the magistrate said the court had the youth’s address listed as his aunt’s at the time of the latest alleged offences.

“The arrangement does not appear to have affected the behaviour of the accused … I’m not satisfied residing with his aunt will allay his offending, which is endangering members of the public,” he said.

The youth is scheduled to reappear in court on March 28 on a consolidated list of charges including two counts of robbery, burglary, intentionally causing injury and two counts of unlawful assault