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Bail for Vic teen on seven robbery charges

AAP logoAAP 5/01/2017

A Victorian teenager accused of seven robberies and burglaries in one night has been given bail, as long as he sticks to his brother's strict schedule.

Padiet Deng appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Wednesday facing 18 charges over a series of robberies on August 4 last year.

In one robbery, Deng allegedly forced a man to withdraw $1000 from an ATM after he and his co-offenders had forced their way into the victim's house.

The 18-year-old has spent more than five months on remand despite a prosecution case his defence lawyer described as "circumstantial".

Deng's older brother Deng Deng told the court he had a strict weekly program planned to keep his younger brother in line, including supervised involvement in sports, music and community programs.

Mr Deng said he would not hesitate to call police if his brother did not keep to the schedule.

Police told the court Deng was with four other young offenders as they allegedly committed the robberies, burglaries and home invasions in Melbourne's east on August 4.

Detective Senior Constable Rachel Jones said the impact of Deng's alleged crimes had been severe.

"The victims are absolutely terrified that these things are going to happen again," Det Sen Const Jones told the court on Thursday.

But Deng's lawyer Katherine Rolfe said police had no evidence that put him with his co-accused, and no one had made a positive identification.

She said Deng had been targeted while in jail and had to be segregated from the main prison population.

Deng was arrested shortly after the offences were committed, near the car used in the alleged robberies, and he allegedly had some stolen property with him.

"(But) there is no evidence from police officers that places Deng in the vehicle prior to his arrest," Ms Rolfe said.

Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge said a Supreme Court decision to bail one of Deng's co-accused, who was facing a more serious case, had a significant impact on his decision.

But he told Deng if he broke any one of his bail conditions he would be sent back to jail to await trial.

"I would hear an urgent applicant to revoke your bail and have you placed back in custody," Mr Lethbridge told the teenager.

Deng will have to stay at his brother's home in Southbank and cannot return to his home suburb of Dandenong unless it is for supervised visits for sport or to see his mother.

He was bailed to appear in court for judicial monitoring on February 16.

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