Saturday 21 April 2018

13-year-old boy "exploited to commit crime" out on bail

Tom Tuite

Social services are planning on carrying out a welfare assessment.

A 13-YEAR-OLD Dublin boy suspected of being in debt to drug dealers and “exploited” to commit crime, has been remanded on continuing bail to let social services carry out a welfare assessment.

“This child has the potential to be found dead,” a garda sergeant has already told the Dublin Children's Court.

Yesterday, Judge Aeneas McCarthy allowed the boy, who was accompanied to his case by his parents, to remain on bail. Social services are to carry out a family welfare conference and efforts are being made to get the boy a new school placement.

The teenager, who must obey strict bail terms, was ordered to appear again later this month.

Last Thursday, the young boy had been charged with being a passenger in a stolen car at 5 am that morning, while he was in the company of a group of older youths. He got bail with a curfew and residency condition and after leaving the court he was arrested a few hours later for stealing €100 worth of tools.

Gda Sgt Seamus Treacy had said that it was believed the teenager had a drug debt and criminals were calling to the homes of his relatives.

The boy had recently spent three weeks in custody on remand in a detention centre where educational, behavioural and psychological assessments of him were carried out. This was in connection with a litany of other charges he also has before the court.

The juvenile liaison officer has also said that was no control over the boy and had raised concerns over the level of assistance being offered to the boy by education and welfare agencies.

He has said the boy's parents cannot protect him as he is being “exploited” by older youths and these people are “manipulating him and using him to commit serious crimes and nothing is happening”.

The court had already heard that his mother was at her “wits end” and has done her best with her son who had repeatedly turned down chances of being cautioned through the Garda juvenile crime diversion programme.

Once he “mooned” at gardai when he was caught in blatant breach of the bail conditions.

So far, the young boy has pleaded guilty to just one of his charges – theft of drinks on April 26 last when he was supposed to be in school. When that occurred, he had been on bail in connection with an alleged motor theft eight days earlier.

He also faces charges over an a burglary on March 31 last and a public order incident on another date.

Fourteen other charges are being prepared in relation to motor theft and more public order offences. He is also a suspect in a trespassing-theft related incident at a school, the juvenile court has heard.

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