'Troubled teen' intoxicated when he stole mobile phone
Published 08/04/2014 | 05:42
A troubled teenager had a 22-month suspended sentence hanging over him when he stole a phone from a shop in Wexford.
Solicitor Ed King asked the District Court not to activate the term imposed for robbery, theft and traffic offences in June of last year on Patrick Boyle of 3 Westgate Park, Wexford.
The court was told that 18-year-old Boyle was highly intoxicated when he removed an Alcatel phone from the 3 Store in Wexford's North Main Street on February 28.
He returned to the shop with it the following day but the screen had been damaged. It was worth €107.
Mr. King commented that Boyle had let himself down, but felt that, in the context of the prospect of 22 months detention, it was a relatively minor offence.
Mr. King painted a sad picture of his young client's troubled upbringing, telling Judge Gerard Haughton that social workers were called in at an early age.
The defendant, whose mother and grandmother were in court to show their support, had been with multiple carers over the years.
He was diagnosed with ADHD and another disorder, though this was not offered as an excuse for his criminal behaviour.
Boyle had already spent time incarcerated in St. Patrick's Institution after he pleaded guilty on a serious charge in the Circuit Court.
His experience in St. Patrick's was not good – locked up for 23 hours out of 24, and offered no rehabilitation or education.
Mr. King felt that country inmates of the institution for young offenders are left to their own devices, while the opportunities for those from the city are greater.
Judge Gerard Haughton pointed out that the most recent probation report on the young defendant was dated April 2012.
At that stage Boyle told probation staff that laws did not apply to him and the judge felt the report was not helpful to Mr. King's client.
Boyle was told that the court was minded to impose the suspended sentence but first he would be remanded in custody to allow preparation of a fresh report.
'I want to see if anything has changed,' explained the judge, adjourning the matter until April 16.'