Sunday 22 October 2017

Pregnant teenager 'fled' care more than 30 times

Tom Tuite

A 17-year-old girl, who has gone missing from HSE care more than 30 times in recent months, is now in the early stages of pregnancy, a court has heard.

The teenager has pleaded guilty at the Children's Court to criminal damage at a residential children's care home in north Dublin, on May 30 last.

Earlier, she had spent a week in custody and was released, on October 21 last, but failed to turn up to her case on November 18 last, leading to warrant being issued for her arrest.

she had been ordered to refrain from assaulting care staff, co-operate with her social workers, reside at a HSE children's care home and to comply with psychological and psychiatric assessments. She had also been ordered to obey a 10pm to 9am curfew at the home and refrain from alcohol and drugs.

The girl was arrested by appointment and brought before the court where, Judge Bryan Smyth heard that since she was bailed she had not been staying at her care placement.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble informed the court that the girl was now in the early stages of pregnancy and was staying with an adult relative, who was present for the case.

A solicitor for the HSE told the court that an "emergency case conference" in relation to the teen's care will be held in the new year. Referrals are also to be made for her to be given a "mother and child placement".

Judge Smyth adjourned the case and remanded the girl on bail to appear again in January pending the HSE's efforts.

Irish Independent

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