Sunday 25 February 2018

Teen forced into heroin dealing spared criminal record

TOM TUITE

A THEN 15-year-old boy, who was forced to deal heroin to pay off a drug debt, has been spared a criminal record.

The boy, now aged 16, had pleaded guilty in November to possessing heroin, with a street value of €430, for sale or supply, in Ballymun, in north Dublin, on a date in July, 2010.



Today,at the Dublin Children's Court, Judge Elizabeth MacGrath noted that the teenager had not come to further garda attention and that a positive probation report had been furnished to the court.



The boy, who has been enrolled in a educational course, had shown he was willing to work with his probation officer to address his offending.



Judge MacGrath applied the Probation Act sparing the the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, not only a custodial sentence but also a criminal conviction.



Earlier, Garda Sergeant David Delaney had told the court that the boy and another person had been “acting suspiciously in an area known for drug dealing”.



The teen ran but was apprehended nearby at which point “he handed over two deals of suspected diamorphine”.



Defence solicitor Gareth Noble had told the court that the teenager had never been before the courts until this incident.



The boy had left school a year beforehand and at the time of the seizure was “doing little in terms of education or training”.



The court has already heard that the boy, who cannot be identified because he is a juvenile, began abusing drugs and “fell into debt to others; to pay it back he engaged in the type of activity he was arrested for”.



In pleas for leniency at an earlier stage, the court had been told that the boy had no prior criminal convictions and has changed his lifestyle.

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