Thursday 8 December 2016

Teen accused of repeatedly biting a care worker during children's home attack to go on trial

Tom Tuite

Published 07/09/2016 | 15:11

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A teenager has been sent forward for trial to the Circuit Court in Dublin accused of repeatedly biting a care worker during an incident at a children's home.

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The boy (17) is charged with assault causing harm to a male staff member, resisting arrest and criminal damage to fixtures and fittings at a care home in Dublin. He was served with a book of evidence at the Dublin Children's Court.

Judge John O'Connor made an order sending him forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he will face his next hearing on October 14

Earlier it was held that the case was too serious for the Children's Court and should be dealt with at a higher level which has tougher sentencing powers.

In an outline of the evidence, Garda Andrew Sheerin of Ballyfermot station told Judge John O'Connor that there had been an incident in the care facility and the teenager had to be restrained by staff. The teenager bit one of the care workers four times.

It was alleged that on the same date the teenager caused €1,100 worth of damage to a mirror, a sink, a window and table at his care home.

Gda Sheerin said that when he got to the home he went to the boy's room. The teen was lying on his bed and became aggressive to Gda Sheerin and made attempts to bite him, the court was also told.

The defence made submissions under section 75 of the Children Act for the case to stay in the Children's Court. It can accept jurisdiction in serious cases following submissions in relation to the boy's age and level of maturity as well as other relevant factors.

Defence barrister Damian McKeone had said the boy has been in full care since he was aged four. The teenager was accompanied the hearing by his mother and youth workers.

At times he has been under supervision of his parents but has been moved around in care arrangements on numerous occasions.

The teenager has been found to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. He has also been suffering from “reactive detachment disorder” as a result of separation issues, counsel said.

He also has substance abuse problems and has attended addiction counselling and he accepted he had an anger management problem.

Judge O'Connor said the youth was almost 18 and it was a serious case. He accepted that reactive detachment issues were serious but that cannot be used as an excuse for carrying out a serious assault.

He refused jurisdiction.

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