The Northern Territory news Tue 6 Jan 2015
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
TUESDAY JANUARY 6 2015 NEWS 03 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Sniffing shame escalates ADVOCATES for troubled kids have damned a lack of youth services in Central Australia after a 12-year-old boy died from sniffing deodorant cans. The boy was found unconscious in the Coles carpark, in Alice Springs, about 8.40pm on Saturday. He was among about eight kids said to have sniffed two cans of deodorant each but the others were not harmed. Central Australian Youth Linkup Service policy boss Tristan Ray who has worked in the region for 12 years said 500 people were sniffing in the region 10 years ago, but this dropped 94 per cent when Opal fuel was introduced. He said sniffing had increased in the past two years after the Government defunded outreach programs. In the absence of drop-in centres and outreach programs theres little to help these kids, he said. There used to be a good range of programs that arent here anymore. Sometimes there is a peak in sniffing and it levels out but the rate has stayed up. As a result, tackling the problem has been largely left to police, ambulance and patrols, Mr Ray said. Alice Springs retailers have committed to limiting access to potential inhalants, by locking them in a cage, keeping them under the counter, or by educating staff about their legal obligation to refuse to sell them to customers that they believe intend to sniff them. The NT Government is working on changes to the Volatile Substances Abuse Prevention Act which will entrench this in legislation, giving retailers clear guidelines for refusing sales. There have been at least seven sniffing-related deaths around Alice Springs in the past 12 years, and Mr Ray said he knew of more in the greater region. While the numbers are low, we are concerned in Alice that if this continues we could see another death, he said. Alice Springs councillor Chansey Paech said that the NT Government had its head in the sand when it came to youth substance abuse and echoed calls for the outreach programs to be reinstated in the community. Police urge anyone with information on the boys death to call 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. PAGE 12: Editorial Lack of youth services blamed for habit increaseBy JORDAN GERRANS and NEDA VANOVAC INHALANTS INHALANTS are nervous system depressants which slow down the workings of the brain. When inhaled, the fumes enter the blood stream very quickly. SIDE effects from long-term abuse include irritability and depression, loss of sense of smell and hearing, and heart, liver and kidney damage. DEATH from suffocation can occur by replacing oxygen in the lungs with the chemical. Imprisoned boy set free on streets two days early after bureaucratic blue A CHILD prisoner was released by mistake from Darwin courthouse cells in a bureaucratic bungle. The 12-year-old boy found himself alone on the street without a parent or guardian when NT Corrections guards let him out of Darwin Magistrates Court after he was given a suspended sentence. Someone forgot he still had part of another sentence to serve. Darwin Magistrates Court workers said there was no ad ministrative error on the childs paperwork authorising his release. But Correctional Services regional operations boss Superintendent Kevin Raby said: Court staff advised correctional officers that the youth had received a fully sus pended sentence and could be released. The boy admitted charges regarding an undisclosed incident that happened in early 2013 when he faced Magistrate Elisabeth Armitage in the youth court last month. Supt Raby said the boy en tered his guilty plea and was put back in the cells to await further direction. Guards were told he could be released about 12.30pm on Monday, December 15. Three hours later it was established he still had two days of a six-week sentence to serve on unrelated offences and should have been returned to Don Dale. He had left the court building. Supt Raby said the matter was immediately reported to NT Police. The boy was returned to custody by his father the next day. Puddle-loving dragon has croc-like attitude DUDIE the bearded dragon has decided she wants to be a crocodile when she grows up. Shed prefer to be a saltie but she could live with being a freshwater croc. To make her dreams come true, Dudie has been paddling in puddles since the monsoon arrived. Owner Kamaia Alexander, 18, said the five-year-old lizard always liked water. We take her outside every day and put her under the sprinkler, she said. She pretty much closes her eyes and goes really yellow, which means shes happy. When she walks away from the sprinkler, we know she wants to go back inside. Once the monsoon began, Ms Alexanders backyard in Lyons developed a permanent puddle, which Dudie quickly took advantage of. As soon as it started rainy, we put Dudie outside and she ran straight for the puddle she looked like a little crocodile sitting in the water, Ms Alexander said. When not doing laps of wet season puddles, Dudie likes to sit on her windowsill perch, keeping an eye on the backyard. Dudie was given to Ms Alexander as a gift five years ago after her old bearded dragon passed away. I named her Dudie because she had a lot of attitude so I thought she was a boy lizard, she said. By COURTNEY TODD By ELLIE TURNER