Monday 23 July 2018

'Out of control' teen beats system again and gets bail for a second time after court hears Oberstown still full

Oberstown Children's Detention Centre
Oberstown Children's Detention Centre

Tom Tuite

A JUDGE has been forced to grant bail to the same “out of control” teenager for a second time in less than a week because the State’s main juvenile detention centre was full.

The 16-year-old boy appeared before the Dublin Children’s Court last Wednesday charged over vicious drug fuelled raids at two corner shops in which staff members were attacked and beaten with a pole and a glass bottle.

However the then presiding judge had to grant bail because there were no places available in Oberstown detention centre to hold the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor.

The teen, who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs, was arrested on the evening of February 5 last after his terrified mother contacted gardai who were waiting at his house when he arrived back after he allegedly tried to rob the second shop.

Following objections to bail two days later, Judge John O’Connor, then presiding, said the teenager was “a risk to himself, a risk to his mother and a risk to the public at large” and custody was warranted, however, bail had to be granted because the Oberstown facility was full.

The teen, who promised his mother he would go straight home with her, was ordered to appear again the following morning, February 8, but he did not show up. A bench warrant was issued and he was arrested in Co. Louth on Saturday.

He was brought back to the Dublin Children’s Court on Monday when Judge Timothy Lucey said the teenager was “out of control” and it was his finding that he must be remanded in custody. However, following the lengthy bail hearing, a check was carried out and the judge was then informed that there was no still no place available in the detention centre to hold the boy. Bail had to be granted.

The teenager, was ordered to abide by a curfew at his mother’s home and to remain out of the D.2 area as a condition of bail. Directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions are being sought.

The case resumes next week.

After he was first granted bail last Wednesday, gardai checked his home at 7pm and he was there but when they called back two hours later he was gone.

Tusla had closed their file on t the teenager, the court had heard.

One of the shop owners told closed up his business after learning that the teen would be getting released, the court heard.

The teen is charged with theft, robbery, attempted robbery and assault causing harm, in connection with three incidents which happened over a four-hour period on February 5 in Dublin.

Gardai objected to bail citing the seriousness of the incidents.

Garda Kevin Cassidy told the court that it was alleged at 5.20pm two youths entered a shop at Mercer Street with their faces covered. The garda said it was a vicious incident and the teen had a pole and repeatedly used it beat the shop worker and continued striking him with it even after €150 from the till was handed over. It was also alleged he was armed with a syringe.

It was alleged the teen went home and changed clothes and left again, however his mother then alerted the gardai who went to the house. They saw the clothes which matched the description they had from the raid at the shop on Mercer Street.

It was alleged at 6.55pm the masked teen entered a shop at Bride Street and during an attempted robbery he repeatedly beat an employee with a glass bottle.

The court heard that the boy fled but when he arrived home Garda Cassidy was still there and he was arrested. It was alleged that the teenager was involved in bag snatch at St Stephen’s Green at about 3pm on the same date.

His mother also raised concerns about his violence in the home.

When he was taken for questioning last week he admitted to gardai he had used cocaine, cannabis and Xanax as well a large volume of alcohol on a daily basis. The interview had to be suspended to allow him get medical treatment. The court heard that when he was picked up in Co. Louth at the weekend medical attention was again required.

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