Wednesday 22 November 2017

Boy, 15, swallowed bag of suspected heroin during drug search, court hears

Tom Tuite

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy was found guilty today of swallowing a bag of suspected heroin in a bid to hamper a drug search.

The youngster, who already had prior convictions for drug dealing, had been accused of obstructing a garda during the course of a search on May 28 last in north Dublin.

The teenager, who had recently returned to education after being out of school for more than a year, had pleaded not guilty to impeding a drug search by “swallowing a controlled substance”.

Garda Niamh Hobbs told Judge John O'Connor at the Dublin Children's Court that the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, had been acting suspiciously and was seen talking to a man in what appeared to be a “drug transaction”.

The teenager then cycled away but was followed and told he was going to be searched for drugs.

Gda Hobbs said that as she spoke to the boy there was a “small white package under his tongue”. She told the court the boy then swallowed it and while being brought to the local garda station he admitted to her and Gda Finbar Fleming that he had swallowed “a small piece of hash” enough for a joint”.

Gda Fleming also said that later at the station while a second search was being carried out the teenager told him that he had swallowed “a small amount of heroin”.

He also told the court that he had seen the white package, which he believed contained heroin, in the boy's mouth when he was stopped.

In evidence the boy told his solicitor Mairead White that he did not have anything in his mouth and denied telling gardai that he had swallowed drugs.

Judge O'Connor found the boy guilty and the court heard that the teenager already had 13 prior criminal convictions including two for drug dealing.

Ms White told the court that the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, had recently returned to education after having been out of school for about 18 months. This period saw him accumulate the number of convictions, she said.

“He does smoke has from time to time,” the defence lawyer also said.

Judge O'Connor said that the boy had a large amount of criminal convictions for his age, was “out of control” and “if you want to go into detention you are going the right way about it.”

He adjourned sentencing the boy, who is on bail, until November to allow time for a probation report on him to be prepared.

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