A YOUTH, who was caught on Dublin's O'Connell Street with 16 "street deals" of heroin on “his first attempt”, has been given a last chance to avoid detention.
The 17-year-old boy has pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to possessing the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply to another.
Judge John O'Connor said yesterday that the youth, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, had not fully co-operated with a restorative justice action plan run by the Probation Service.
He said that left the alternative of imposing a custodial sentence but the teenager, after a brief recess, pledged to comply and the judge agreed to adjourn the case until September when an updated probation report will be furnished to the court. "I did not realise it was that serious," the teenager said during the hearing yesterday.
Garda Nicola Connolly had told the juvenile court that on a date in July last year the west Dublin youth was "found with €350 worth of heroin in 16 street deals". The youth, who has no prior criminal convictions, was co-operative on arrest.
She had also agreed with the defence solicitor that she was satisfied that the teenager was not intrinsically involved in the drug trade. "It may have been his first attempt at it," she had added.
The teen has also admitted that a few weeks previously he had a supply of the drug BZP and heroin at his home address.
The court had heard that the youth, who had sought counselling for his drug problem and was taking part in a training course, has not continued to come to garda attention and has “extricated himself from the drug scene”.