A teenage girl who has been called the “bully of all bullies” can keep using social media, a judge in Sydney, N.S., has decided, but she must provide all her passwords to a probation officer.
The 15-year-old has pleaded guilty to assaulting another girl and posting a video of it on Facebook.
The girl, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was charged after a female student with autism was punched and kicked at Sherwood Park Education Centre in Sydney earlier this year.
Crown attorney Steve Drake described the assault as “brutal.” He said the victim was lucky she didn't suffer more serious injuries.
The defence argued the accused is not a bully and had a horrific childhood, which included sexual assault and addiction.
The judge called her actions a vicious, orchestrated attack, but said he weighed that with the benefits of the young offender being able to stay in touch with her community via social media.
'Hold her accountable'
The prosecutor said police described the offender as the "bully of all bullies" and had asked a Nova Scotia youth court judge to bar the girl from accessing all forms of social media while on probation, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Drake said Wednesday’s decision is not what he wanted, but it's a fair decision.
“I think public interest and safety is protected here with this compromise that the judge put in place. He put strict conditions on her with respect to her access to social media, and giving the probation officer access to her accounts is a step in the right direction and it will hold her accountable,” he said.
Drake said in a world of growing social media use, the decision sets a standard.
“It's going to be instructive, I think, for other cases across the province. It’s a provincial court decision, our people will probably use this in other cases,” he said.
The young offender’s 15 months of probation start Wednesday. Besides handing over her passwords she must take all recommended treatments for addiction and continue to live in a group home under the care of community services.