Judge sentences teen to watch Clint Eastwood movie

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A 13-year-old boy who along with his friends assaulted and robbed an Asian boy has been sentenced by a Perth Children’s Court magistrate to watch the 2008 Clint Eastwood film Gran Torino.
 
Magistrate Stephen Vose put the teenager on a six-month, community-based order which requires the offender to watch the film in hopes that he learns a lesson about racism from it.
 
“It is a great movie,” he told the boy, according to a report from The West Australian. “I think you will enjoy it but you might also learn something out of it.”
 
The movie, Eastwood’s highest-grossing film to date, features the iconic actor as a Korean War veteran living alone and initially displaying disdain for the poor Asian immigrants who have moved into his neighbourhood.
 
After saving a teen boy from gang members who coerced the boy to steal his prized Ford Gran Torino, the veteran is regarded as a hero by the community. The film looks at racism, multiculturalism and justice in poorer neighbourhoods in the US.
 
Justice Vose said that he has seen “over and over again” in court how there was a disproportionate number of Asian victims compared to their number in the community.
 
The magistrate said the trend is due to either blatant racism or criminals targeting tourists, according to The West Australian.
 
The 13-year-old who was sentenced to the unusual punishment assaulted the victim with his friends at Thornlie train station in February. The victim, who was repeatedly punched in the face, tried to run away from the group but was told the group was “not done with him yet”.
 
The boy who tackled the victim and ripped off his backpack said he would adhere to the conditions of the order, risking going back to court if he didn’t.
 
As part of the order, the boy has to report to a supervisor and take part in programs or counselling, the publication reported. The boy also committed other crimes.

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