Two Canberra teenagers are free on good behaviour orders after using a toy gun to try to rob a boy who has autism earlier this year.
During the attack in May the 17-year-olds pushed the boy up against a wall outside a Canberra supermarket using the gun to demand he hand over his wallet.
The pair fled empty-handed when the boy refused to cooperate.
They were arrested when police found them in a house nearby watching a television show about the serial killer Ivan Milat, with one of the teenagers telling police later he knew the boy was "disabled and could not speak properly".
One of the boys was also convicted of threatening a youth worker with a meat cleaver.
In court, his lawyers requested he be allowed to take part in restorative justice.
But Justice Michael Elkaim rejected that, saying it would not help.
"You must know that the use of weapons, even [pretend] weapons are extremely frightening … and entirely unacceptable," he said.
Of the second boy he said: "he has tasted confinement."
"I hope it has left an impression on him that he should stay away from crime."
He told both of them: "you've got to go one way or the other."
Justice Elkaim said the teenagers had an opportunity now and reminded them of the support from justice workers.
Both will serve two-year good behaviour orders under the supervision of the director-general for Child Youth Protection Services.
see also http://a4.org.au/node/1478