Wednesday 17 January 2018

Teen death threat case struck out after delay

Tom Tuite

THE case of a 16-year-old boy, who was accused of threatening to slit his social worker's throat during an alleged death threat, was struck out today due to a delay in receiving directions from the DPP.

The woman, who is employed by the HSE, was threatened and prevented from getting out of her car during the alleged incident which lasted 30 to 40 minutes, the Dublin Children's Court has already heard.

The boy had initially been refused bail at that court after he had been charged with criminal damage to the social worker's car and threatening to kill or cause her serious harm, in Dublin city-centre, on April 16.

However the boy was later granted bail in the High Court.

The prosecution had been given until today for the DPP's directions to be obtained in relation to the venue for the boy's trial.

However, when the case was called at the Children's Court, Judge Ann Ryan heard that Gardai had not yet received the directions. Judge Ryan acceded to a request from defence solicitor Gareth Noble to strike out the case.

The boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, could be recharged over the allegations, the court also heard.

At an earlier stage Garda Kieran O'Rourke had told told the city's juvenile court that the boy repeatedly made serious threats against the woman, who had been assigned to work with the teen for the past two years.

It was alleged the boy had been a passenger in her car and caused it substantial damage. The court has already heard claims that the boy kicked a wing mirror off the vehicle and caused damage to the passenger side door to such an extent that it would not open.

“The accused is alleged to have stated on more than one occasion that he would slit the injured party's throat, and go to her place of employment and slit her throat and her colleague's throat,” the court had also been told.

The garda had said the social worker was in fear; she was prevented from calling the emergency services but managed to send a text message to a colleague saying she needed assistance and could not get out of her car.

Gda O'Rourke had said that when he arrived the boy was outside at the driver's door, and he found the woman “crying, shaking in a highly distressed manner”.

The court had also been told that after the boy's arrest he was still volatile and made threats against the social worker as well as her co-workers.

“She stated that she is in immediate fear for her safety,” the garda had also told the judge at the boy's first court appearance on April 17.

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