News Courts

Sunday 20 October 2019

Honours student saw cannabis problem led to crack dealing

Tom Tuite

AN HONOURS schoolboy who dropped out of education and got into crack cocaine dealing after he developed a cannabis addiction problem has been sentenced to nine months' probation.

The 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to possessing crack cocaine worth €500 for the purpose of sale or supply, at the South Circular Road, in Dublin, on a date in February last year.

However, Judge John O'Connor noted today that the teenager had turned his life around and had also done work to help other troubled young people.

The boy, who was accompanied by his mother to his hearing at Dublin Children's Court, was spared a custodial sentence. The judge ordered the teenager, who is now taking part in a training course, to continue to accept guidance from the Probation Service to address his offending for the next nine months.

The teenager, who said he understood what that entails, was then released.

Earlier, the court had been told that the boy “was observed in a suspected drugs transaction”. He was brought to Kevin Street Garda station where he was searched and the drugs were found on him.

He had also admitted trespassing at an unoccupied building in south Dublin on another date.

The juvenile court had heard that the boy had no prior criminal convictions. He got seven honours in higher level subjects in the Junior Certificate; soon after that he dropped out of school.

Defence counsel Aoife McNickle had said the boy, had “a long-standing difficulty with cannabis use”. He was trying to address that problem and has also had to move out of his home address “due to difficulties in that area”.

A report had been sought by the court on efforts he made in restorative justice activities directed by his probation officer, and to address how he was dealing with his cannabis problem.

Ms McNickle said today that the pre-sentence report was excellent and showed the boy had “done a 180 degree turn in how he dealt with matters in the last few months”.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News