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Judge prepared to jail both parents in truant teen case


Judge Alan Mitchell

Judge Alan Mitchell

Judge Alan Mitchell

A JUDGE who warned a teenage boy that he would make him choose which parent to jail over his truancy from school has insisted he will jail one or both of them if the boy's behaviour continues.

At Galway District Court, Judge Alan Mitchell adjourned sentencing against the parents until next month in order to monitor the boy's school attendance.

He told the 15-year-old that he continued to take a serious view of the matter and would not hesitate to jail one or both of the teen's parents if his school attendance did not improve.

"Don't doubt in any way whether I would send either or both parents to jail – I will do it," he said.

Judge Mitchell said he would consider imposing a sentence on one parent and then the other if the boy misses any school between now and the next court hearing.

"When one parent comes out the other parent goes to jail. If that is what you want, continue on with the route you are on. I'll have no option but to do that," he said.

The court had previously heard that the boy had missed 91 days of school out of 114 this school year to date. The boy attended court yesterday but did not have to choose which parent would face a jail term after the matter was adjourned.


Solicitor for the family Valerie Corcoran said she was not happy to allow the young boy address the open court.

"Obviously he doesn't want either parent to go to prison," she said.

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Judge Mitchell said he would adjourn the matter until April 10 on the understanding that the boy attend school every day until the end of this term and for the first three days of next term when the case would come before the court again.

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