Thursday 14 December 2017

Boy burnt down house causing €100k of damage after row with family, court hears

A TEENAGE boy accidentally burned his home down and caused €100,000 worth of damages after a row with his family, a court has heard.

The boy, who is in his mid-teens, had consumed alcohol and taken tranquillisers before he started the fire which got out of control and gutted the house.

He pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to criminally damaging the property on date last year.

He has also been accused of attacking his mother on the same date however, she has withdrawn her complaint and that charge may be dropped.

He no longer resides with his family and was accompanied to court yesterday by staff from his current accommodation.

Judge Ann Ryan was told that the incident happened at about 3am when the boy “set fire to the curtains, the house then took fire.”

Garda Campbell Brennan agreed with defence solicitor John Bermingham that the boy had consumed alcohol and benzodiazepine tablets. The following day he turned up at a north Dublin garda station along with his social worker.

The garda agreed that the boy, who has no prior criminal convictions, had been co-operative throughout the investigation and that the teen had not intended to burn his family home down.

As a result of the blaze, his mother put him out and he was given accommodation by the HSE where he gets assistance from youth care workers.

Garda Brennan also agreed with the defence lawyer that there has been an improvement in the teen's behaviour and attitude.

Judge Ryan heard that the teen had been diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and a behavioural disorder.

Mr Bermingham said that there had been a row in the house and the boy then set fire to curtains.

A youth worker explained to the judge that the boy is getting help in his current accommodation and the court heard that a number of agencies are providing assistance to him.

The care worker said the teen “is trying to rebuild his relationship with his family and put his life back on track again.”

Judge Ryan noted that the boy, who did not address the court, seemed to be getting a lot of support. She adjourned sentencing to allow for an update welfare report on him to be furnished to the court.

The boy was remanded on continuing bail.

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