Tuesday 12 December 2017

Probation for then 15-year-old boy who came under threat after he took €50k worth of drugs from dealer's lock-up

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Tom Tuite

A DUBLIN youth, who stole almost €50,000 worth of cannabis and cocaine he found in a lock-up full of drugs and guns, has been spared a custodial sentence.

The Dublin Children’s Court heard that following warnings given last month the teen has attended meetings with the Probation Service.

Judge John O’Connor was furnished with an updated pre-sentence report on him. He sentenced the youth to 12 months’ supervised probation.

The drug find led to the 17-year-old boy getting threats and facing trial on serious drugs charges. He was aged 15 at the time.

At an earlier stage there was a negative probation report on the youth. The teen had been warned he would get a custodial sentence unless there was an improvement in his engagement with his probation officer.

Garda Stephen Tierney had told the Dublin Children's Court that in 2015, gardai learned that a large quantity of drugs and firearms had been kept in a lock-up in the city's north-side.

A number of youths including the defendant also found out about it, the court heard.

Judge O'Connor was told gardai later became aware that youths had been approached and threatened.

Gardai became concerned for their safety and when they called to the boy's home they searched his bedroom resulting in cannabis and cocaine being found in two school-bags.

The value of the drugs found in the boy's bedroom, which was mostly cocaine, was €48,155.

The drugs were not broken up into deal bags to be sold on, the court was told. Garda Tierney agreed with the defence that the visit to the boy's home over a concern for his safety. The youth has no prior criminal convictions.

The court has heard a number of youths had been playing football in the area and the lock-up became talked about and it "spread like wildfire" in school. Gardai learned that some youths went to the lock up and "took bits and pieces", the court was told.

The court heard that the teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, moved to a different area and began taking part in a training course. He had been in school at the time and is aware of the seriousness of the charges, counsel had said at an earlier stage.

When originally charged, he told gardai “I was not selling anything”. He is charged with unlawful possession of the drugs, possession with intent to sell or supply and has pleaded guilty.

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