Friday 23 March 2018

Boy gets warning over absconding from HSE care

Tom Tuite

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy with a litany of assault convictions and awaiting sentence for carrying a knife in Dublin city-centre has been warned he will be locked up if he keeps absconding from HSE care.

The teenager, who had been described as having “anger issues”, had pleaded guilty last week at the Dublin Children's Court to carrying the knife as a weapon but claimed he “did not have it to harm anyone”.

Garda Ian Gillespie had told the court that on June 13 last reports had been received “that a male was in possession of a knife at the Irish Life Mall”. At Marlborough Street, the boy, who is in care, discarded a pocket-knife, which was exhibited in court last week.

When the garda was showing the blades on the knife last week, the boy had said “you have to take the small one out first”. The teenager, who had then claimed the knife was blunt, had already been dealt with by the courts for 11 prior offences.

In 2009, he was placed on supervised probation “for threatening to damage property”. The following year, he was again placed on probation and got a suspended sentence for entering with intent to commit an offence, breach of the peace, being intoxicated in public, and four counts of assault which happened in a care home where he had resided previously.

When arrested for carrying the knife, the boy claimed “he did not have it to harm anyone”.

The boy had been ordered last week to obey a curfew from 9pm to 8am.

However, Judge Ann Ryan heard today, when the case resumed that the boy had repeatedly broken the curfew, starting on June 23, the day it was imposed. There were seven breaches of the curfew including one where he stayed overnight away from his care home.

Care staff were also concerned that he was using cannabis at his current accommodation, a residential care home, in Dublin, and he had become abusive to the staff there, the judge was told.

Judge Ryan said this caused concerns but noted that he had not picked up any more charges in the past week. Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said the boy had to address a number of difficulties, has found being in care difficult and was “rebelling against the system”.

Judge Ryan told the teenager she was giving him a last chance to obey the bail terms otherwise he would be detained. He was also told that he must not take alcohol or drugs and will appear again next week on the knife possession charge.

He also admitted stealing a bike from the campus of Dublin City University, on the city's north side, for which he will be sentenced in September.

The court has already heard that he has been in care for several years and “has serious difficulties in dealing with anger issues”.

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