Sunday 17 November 2019

‘Paranoid teen’ had screwdriver and thought he was being followed, court told

Tom Tuite

A YOUTH suffering from paranoia and depression carried a concealed screwdriver for self protection because he believed he was being followed, Dublin Children's Court heard today.

The boy (16) pleaded guilty to having the screwdriver as a weapon, in Walkinstown, in Dublin, on December 21 last.

Garda Jason O'Carroll told Judge John O'Connor that he stopped the teenager for the purpose of a search. No drugs were found on the teenager but he had a “a screwdriver concealed in the waistband of his tracksuit bottoms.”

“He admitted he had it for his own protection,” Gda Carroll said adding that at the time the teenager also said “there are people following me”.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said the boy, who was accompanied to court by his father, “felt he required it for his own protection”.

That, the lawyer said, linked in with problems the boy has; he has been getting assistance from mental health services which have found the 16-year-old suffers from paranoia and depression.

Things have become more stable for the teenager who is about to get a place on a training course, Judge O'Connor heard. There is to be a multi-agency approach, involving the Probation Service, Gardaí and mental health services, to help the teen.

The court heard that the teenager, who also admitted two other charges for a breach of the peace and obstruction of a garda a year ago, has not continued to come to Garda attention.

Judge O'Connor said he was sorry for boy but added that the troubled teen is getting the best help available. His level of engagement with the services would help determine how the court deals with his charges.

The boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his father, was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in April when an updated report on his progress will be furnished to the court.

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