Saturday 7 December 2019

Teen often went missing, court told

Tom Tuite

A 17-YEAR-OLD girl, who has repeatedly absconded from HSE care, went missing for four consecutive nights last week, the Dublin Children's Court heard yesterday. The teenager has pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a door, at a children's care home in north Dublin, on May 30 last.

During the proceedings the court had heard that she had already absconded from Health Service Executive care 35 times, in August and September.

The teen had been ordered to obey a 10pm to 9am curfew at the care home, refrain from alcohol and illegal drugs and not leave the vicinity of the unit.

The girl, who has been in care for the past two years, had told the court last Thursday that she would obey the bail terms but had added: "I think I'd rather be dead to be honest."

Yesterday she arrived late to court where Garda Sergeant Seamus Treacy told Judge Bryan Smyth that over the previous four days the girl had not stayed at her care home placement.

Neither the girl nor her mother attended a meeting held on Friday last about her future care, the court was also told.

Eoghan Wallace, solicitor for the HSE, gave Judge Smyth a report on the troubled teen and said that referrals may be made for "high support special care" placement for the girl.

Judge Smyth remanded the girl on bail to appear again today to consider the report's contents.

Two weeks ago she had been granted bail due to a juvenile detention centre being full.

Sgt Treacy told the court earlier that the teen left her care home but came back occasionally "to eat and change clothes".

He had said the teen had been staying with her mother in a different part of the city and had shown contempt for her care staff and the court.

Solicitor Gareth Noble, representing the teen, had said his client believed that her current care placement was "unsuitable".

"She feels she should be with her mother," he had told the court previously.

Irish Independent

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