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Teens from prestigious school guilty of bashing stranger for his bag and shoes

Teens from prestigious school guilty of bashing stranger for his bag and shoes

Five teenage boys have admitted to bashing a man at Perth’s Stirling train station so badly doctors were forced to put him in a coma, after pleading guilty to downgraded charges.

The five, who cannot be named, were students of Churchlands Senior High School and beat 20-year-old Matthew Henson (pictured) on February 13 just before they stole his shoes and bag.

Mr Henson suffered severe head injuries and was initially placed in an induced coma at Royal Perth Hospital.

After spending weeks in intensive care and another specialised ward, he was transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital to start rehabilitation.

The five boys, aged between 15 and 16, were charged with aggravated robbery and causing grievous bodily harm. 

But those charges were quickly dropped by the Perth Children’s Court on Thursday, including for one boy who had already pleaded guilty.

All of them pleaded guilty to a new, lesser charge of intent to harm, doing an act as a result of which Mr Henson’s life, health or safety was, or was likely, to be endangered.

They also pleaded guilty to stealing his shoes and one of the boys pleaded guilty to stealing his bag.

All charges were dismissed against a sixth boy and not replaced with any new charges, resulting in him walking free from court.

Psychological and juvenile justice reports will be prepared for most of the boys before their sentencing on August 18.