Saturday 19 January 2019

Teen 'out of his head' when he 'trashed' Oberstown room

A woodwork room at the Oberstown Detention Campus
A woodwork room at the Oberstown Detention Campus

Fiona Ferguson

Two teenage boys "trashed" a metalwork room at Oberstown detention centre with hammers for three hours before the Public Order Unit was called in to remove them, a court has heard.

The pair, then aged 15 and 16, threatened their teacher with hammers before proceeding to smash "anything they could get their hands on", causing €14,290 of damage. The two boys, who cannot be identified as they are minors, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to criminal damage at Oberstown Child Detention Campus on June 14, 2017.

The older boy, now 17, has 36 previous convictions including 10 for criminal damage, arson, unlawful seizures of vehicles as well as theft and public order offences.

The younger boy, now aged 16, has 28 previous convictions including seven for criminal damage, robbery, burglary, threat to kill and public order offences.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing in the case until Friday next to allow her to read all reports handed into court on behalf of the boys and to structure a suitable sentence.

Sergeant Eoin McDonnell told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that the boys had been in the metalwork room and their teacher could feel "something building".

The teacher said the boys, who both had hammers, then told him to get out of the room.

The boys barricaded themselves into the room where they began smashing things, throwing items and wrecking the room.

They were abusive and shouted threats to members of staff.

The older boy told gardaí he had started "trashing the room" for "no reason".

The younger boy told gardaí that he had been "out of my head" and also admitted his role.

The garda agreed both boys had entered early guilty pleas and co-operated with the investigation.

Irish Independent

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