A 16-YEAR-OLD Dublin boy caught with heroin and bullets hidden in his underpants has been detained for two years after a judge heard he continued dealing drugs and held up shop workers at knife-point.
The boy had been given a suspended sentence last year but despite being given a chance carried on selling heroin and then took part in three terrifying armed robberies, Dublin Children's Court was told today.
The south Dublin boy, who cannot be named, had to move out of his home because his life is under a threat linked to a €5,000 debt he owes to other drug dealers, Judge Ann Ryan was told.
He had admitted public order offences, possessing a knife, in the city's south-side and using a plastic rod as a weapon which he swung at members of the public on Thomas Street in January last year
He had also pleaded guilty to drug dealing and firearms offences. The total street value of drugs seized from him on a date last May was €1,500. During that operation gardai found cannabis at his home and the boy was also found with cocaine and heroin at a location in Dublin 8 on the same day. He was brought to a south Dublin garda station where more heroin was recovered.
At the garda station where he was searched, three Remmington make, 22-calibre Winchester Magnum bullets were also found on him. The court had heard that the teen kept the bullets and heroin hidden in his underwear.
In November last year, he was given two 10-month suspended sentences for these offences.
However, the juvenile court heard today that last month the teenager had robbed two shops in Dublin and threatened staff at knife-point over the course of three days and made off with €980.
Gardai had also spotted him in drugs transactions on Dublin's O'Connell Street on February 18 and he was found carrying €180 worth of heroin. On arrest “he just stated he was there to deal drugs,” said Garda Neil Cepeda.
The next day he returned to O'Connell Street where he was caught with another supply of heroin to the value of €40.
Judge Ann Ryan who had given the boy a chance last year when she gave him suspended sentences was furnished with probation reports on him. The boy and his mother remained silent as defence solicitor Gareth Noble then detailed the boy's background.
The teen dealer's lifestyle was laid bare with the lawyer explaining that the youngster committed the crimes because he claims to have built up a €5,000 drug debt.
Over recent months, he had to move out of his family's house, spent some time in care and then stayed with friends “because of threats to his safety”. The boy later moved home and was described as being “unable to extricate himself from difficulties in the community” which stemmed from his drug problem.
“As a result he has run up a bill that meant he had to resort to rather desperate means to pay back that debt,” the lawyer said after which the judge proceeded to sentence the boy.