Sunday 22 April 2018

Teen accused of assisting in alleged rape of sister placed in secure unit

The High Court in Dublin (Stock image)
The High Court in Dublin (Stock image)

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

The High Court has made orders allowing the Child and Family Agency (CFA) place a teenage boy, accused of participating in the rape of his sister, in a secure facility for troubled youths. 

Tusla (CFA) sought the orders because the teen, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been engaging in behaviour that places his own life in danger and the health and safety of others at risk. 

Lawyers for Tusla told the High Court on Monday that the 15 year old has a history of drug taking, alcohol abuse and has absconded from various placements he had been at.

The teen is described as being highly vulnerable, was exposed to anti social behaviour from a young age, and has claimed he was sexually abused by a male relative.

Late last year he was found late at night by the Gardai on a Dublin street "unconscious, alone and hyperthermic," counsel for Tusla David Leahy Bl, instructed by Conor Fottrell of Mason, Hayes and Curran solicitors said.

The boy has also suffered a number of serious physical injuries from engaging in risk taking activities and had refused to allowed himself be properly treated for those injuries, counsel added.

The social work team that has tried to help the teen fears such behaviour could result in his death as he lacks insight into what he is doing.

He had also presented at various Garda stations late at night in a highly aggressive state, counsel said.

The teen first came to the attention of Tusla some years ago and has been the subject of care orders.

He was placed at non secure units, which had not worked out. 

He had gone back to live with his family, but could not longer do so and had up to very recently been effectively homeless.

Counsel said there were also a number of serious allegations against the teen that are being investigated, including one made the teen's sister that he had held a knife to her throat while a friend of his raped her.

Other allegations of violent behaviour against the teen including that he had struck somebody with a bottle and it is alleged he obtained knifes and had plotted to attack somebody who had insulted him.

In recent weeks the teen was taken into the care by Tusla following an application to the District Court.

Counsel said when the application for care orders came before the District Court last month the judge hearing the case expressed his strong concerns about the teen's situation.

Counsel said Tusla now want the teen placed in a secure environment at a facility in the state, where a bed at a small secure facility for teenager has just come available.

Counsel said it is hoped the teen will avail of the various services and structures the placement will provide for him, counsel added.

After hearing Tusla's application Ms Justice Eileen Creedon made a number of orders including one allowing the teen to be placed at the secure facility by members of the Garda Siochana.

The Judge said the teen's situation was "very concerning."

The Judge said she was satisfied the secure placement was being sought "not for punitive reasons" but for "therapeutic, educational, and welfare reasons."

The Judge added the allegations of violence against the teen have yet to be proven. 

The case will return before the court later this week.

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