Saturday 3 December 2016

'It would be the wrong thing to do' - manslaughter teen (16) assures judge he will not flee country if granted bail

Tom Shiel

Published 20/12/2015 | 17:07

Dovydas Jenkus (17) died following an incident in the early hours of Saturday morning
Dovydas Jenkus (17) died following an incident in the early hours of Saturday morning
The late Dovydas Jenkus (17) and his sister Agne

A 16 year-old schoolboy charged with the manslaughter of a secondary school student assured a judge today he would not leave the country if granted bail as "it would be the wrong thing to do because I did a bad thing".

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The accused, a foreign national,  who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Judge Mary Devins, at a special District Court sitting in Castlebar. He was accompanied by his mother at the hearing which lasted about 40 minutes.

Detective Sergeant James Carroll gave evidence of arresting the accused in court today and conveying him to the local garda station where he charged him with the unlawful killing of Dovydas Jenkas (17), at Claremount Estate, Claremorris, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The teenager made no reply when the charge was read to him.

Supt Michael Cryan said the application of the State was for a remand in custody at Oberstown House (youth detention centre) to Ballina District Court on Tuesday.

When Evan O'Dwyer, the solicitor for the accused, indicated there was an application for bail, Sergeant Carroll said gardai were objecting to the application because of the seriousness of the charge and the fact that the accused posed "a significant flight risk".

The late Dovydas Jenkus (17) and his sister Agne
The late Dovydas Jenkus (17) and his sister Agne

Mr. O'Dwyer said the accused had been in custody for 24 hours,had conducted five interviews, and had co-operated by answering all the questions put to him "in a frank and forthright way".

The solicitor said the accused was a pupil in a secondary school and was variously described by his teachers in school reports as well mannered and an exceptional student especially in metalwork and woodwork.

After being sworn in to give evidence the accused, who speaks fluent English, agreed with Mr. O'Dwyer that "something horrible had happened".

He added he was "very sorry for what happened".

If granted bail, the accused continued, he would not leave the country as "it would be the wrong thing to do as I did a bad thing".

Speaking through an interpreter, the boy's mother said she was divorced from his father for a number of years. She said she trusted her son to stay here until the case was finished.

Judge Devins remanded the accused on bail until Tuesday to Ballina District Court on  a number of conditions - that he continue to reside with his mother until tomorrow's court sitting and observe a 24 hour curfew during that time.

The judge also ordered the surrender of the accused's passport and gave gardai the liberty to call his house at any time to ensure he was still there.

The judge explained that on Tuesday she will revisit the terms of the bail in particular the question of a considerable cash lodgment by the accused's mother and, inter alia, the question of a continued curfew and signing on by the accused at a garda station.

Mr. O'Dwyer indicated he was seeking legal aid on behalf of the accused.

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