Sunday 15 September 2019

Teen escaped custody by climbing out toilet window during hospital visit

Beaumont Hospital
Beaumont Hospital

Tom Tuite

A TEENAGER, who escaped from custody by climbing out a window during a hospital visit, has been spared another custodial sentence.

The boy, aged 17, had been serving a sentence at the Oberstown Detention Centre when he was brought to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin on July 6, 2016, Judge John O’Connor heard.

Garda Andrina Blount told the Dublin Children’s Court that the teen, who cannot be named because he is a minor, had been brought to the hospital by a member of staff from the detention centre but when he went to the toilet “he absconded out the window”.

He was found a week later at the home of relatives in Co. Cork and brought back to the detention centre in Dublin.

He had 12 prior criminal convictions including one for violent disorder and another for assault causing harm as well as public order, theft, criminal damage and motoring offences going back three years.

He had been given a two-year sentence with the final year suspended in early 2016, the court was told.

The teenager had been in care since the age of eight and was accompanied to court by his pregnant teenage girlfriend who was described as being his "guardian". A solicitor for Tusla also attended the proceedings.

Defence solicitor Paula Egan told the court that the youth's parents split up and he had developed a drug problem from taking tablets. He had got into a lot of trouble in the past but had changed his life since he finished his sentence, Ms Egan said. He now lived with his partner, the court heard.

The teenager had manage to quit drug abuse and was now “100pc clean”, the solicitor said, adding that he was apologetic.

The boy told the court he had lived in a care home from the age of eight and he was currently on probation through which efforts were being made to get him on a training course.

Sentencing, Judge John O’Connor was furnished with an updated probation report on the youth and agreed to impose a six-month probation bond.

The judge warned him to comply with the terms of the order which means accepting guidance from his probation officer to divert him from re-offending.

Wishing the teen and his partner the best, Judge O’Connor also warned that he risked a custodial sentence if he broke the terms and that he had to give his child his best and not be facing court cases in future.

“Thank you very much judge,” the teen replied after hearing that he had been spared another term in custody.

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