challengeRELATED STORY: Consorting law breaches human rights: lawyer MAP: Parramatta 2150 Police have conceded they wrongly charged a Sydney boy under Australia's toughest anti-bikie powers. The 16-year-old, who lives with his grandfather after a long stint sleeping rough on the streets, faced the prospect of up to two years in juvenile detention for the offence of consorting. The legislation, outlawing repeated communication with convicted criminals, was introduced in New South Wales a year ago to target bikies and organised crime groups. But the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is the latest in a growing list of disadvantaged people to be targeted under the laws. He was picked up by police in January for having a meal with a 16-year-old friend at a fast food outlet in Parramatta. Both boys had criminal histories. In an embarrassing backdown, police withdrew the charge in Parramatta Children's Court on Monday because they had bungled the case. Prosecutors had to prove the boy had consorted with at least two criminals but police had only named one in the charge sheet. The boy's lawyer, Jane Sanders, said the mistake should never have been made. "I don't even know how the charge got past the sergeant of the police station to be quite honest," she said. "Admittedly, this young man does have another charge which is still proceeding in court. "If his only charge had been consorting, then we would be seriously considering a false imprisonment or malicious prosecution claim." The boy is fighting a charge of demanding money with menaces. He had served two years in juvenile detention when he was 14 for assault and robbery. Onerous conditions Support services had referred the teenager to Ms Sanders, who is the principal solicitor at Sydney's Shopfront Legal Centre for homeless and disadvantaged young people. She told the court on Monday the boy had made concerted efforts to mend his ways, but the charge had led to onerous bail conditions. The conditions included a ban on entering the Parramatta CBD, meaning he was unable to access his support services or pass through the area on public transport to travel into central Sydney. A magistrate yesterday eased the ban and repealed an order prohibiting him from associating with a number of friends. Police admit they misused the law. As soon as NSW Police became aware of the issue, action was taken immediately to withdraw the charge. NSW Police statement "As soon as NSW Police became aware of the issue, action was taken immediately to withdraw the charge," a spokesman said in a statement. He said training was under way "to ensure the error doesn't happen again". Police Minister Mike Gallacher is standing by the legislation but said lessons must be learned. "I trust that the police will look at the ramifications in terms of the approach that they take to make sure that this relatively new law can be better understood [and] ensure that we don't have repeats of this," he said. The first person jailed under the new laws was Charlie Foster, 22, a disability pensioner from the northern NSW town of Inverell, who was convicted of consorting with his housemates. But the conviction was set aside last year after police admitted errors in the case. Foster has since joined forces with several bikies to mount a constitutional challenge against the consorting laws that is expected to reach the High Court. The NSW Ombudsman will review the first two years of the laws' operation.