A 15-YEAR-OLD Dublin boy has been left with nowhere to live after members of his community allegedly threatened to shoot or decapitate him because of his criminal activities.
His anti-social behaviour has plunged his family life into turmoil and due to the shortage of spaces in juvenile detention centres, a judge was also unable to remand him custody yesterday.
Dublin Children's Court heard that the boy, who has developed a drug addiction problem, has been blamed for stealing by angry neighbours who have said he must not return to their area.
The teenager has separate charges for criminal damage to a car and possessing a knife as well as a wooden pole as weapons, during an incident at the home of extended family members, in August.
The boy's mother wept and told Judge O'Connor that her son had also injured himself on Monday and had to get 13 staples to a head wound.
“Every neighbour is blaming him for robbing from their house. I don't know what will happen,” she said. She told the court that it would be impossible for the youth to come home with her.
The teen was crying as his mother described how he has been blamed for stealing from one local family who want their property back. “These people are not people to mess with,” she said. She said that she was afraid for her own safety and that of her other children.
His grandmother said she loved him but also said she could not have him in her home any more. Locals want her evicted because of the boy's activities, Judge O'Connor was told.
Her voice trembled as she said that she has been told that the boy “was going to be shot” and “going to be decapitated” if he returned to the area.
The boy, who was also in tears, interrupted saying, “I will not be shot, let them try to shoot me, I'll sort them out”.
He agreed with defence solicitor Michelle Finan that his family loved him and wanted the best for him; he also said he needed to go to counselling, “to see people to help my head”.
Throughout the proceedings he begged his family members to take him back but they said that was impossible due to the alleged threats that have been made against his life.
At one point when they refused, he suddenly rammed his forehead into his fists and burst into tears.
Garda Sheila Kenny also said that the youth had broken bail conditions which had included a curfew order. He had also been brought to court on a bench warrant issued earlier because he had not turned up to a scheduled hearing.
The judge said the teen agrees “he wants to get his head sorted” but there were no support procedures for him.
He described the testimony as "as moving as I have heard" and added that he would have remanded the youth in custody but could not do so because there were no places available in detention centres for boys of his age.
The court heard his mother did not want social services involved and she intended to look for hotel accommodation. The judge granted bail and ordered her son to remain with her at all times. The case resumes today (WED).