Tuesday 12 December 2017

Teen sent Facebook 'friend request' to victim, court told

Tom Tuite

A YOUTH who allegedly stabbed a teenage girl twice in the back was remanded in custody yesterday after a court heard he contacted her on Facebook and threatened to "finish her off".

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because he is a juvenile, is charged with assault causing harm to the girl, at an address in Dublin, on a date last month.

He was bailed on February 17 on condition he got psychiatric help, abided by a curfew and did not contact the complainant.

The Children's Court had been told it was alleged the teenage girl had been twice "stabbed in the back" and suffered a punctured lung.

Detective Garda Louise McHugh told Judge Clare Leonard that on Sunday last the teenage girl had "26 missed calls" and four text messages from a mobile phone number not known to her.

Det Gda McHugh alleged that the girl received a "friend request" from the boy on her Facebook page and he had sent her a message via the website saying: "I know you do not want to talk to me I did not mean it to happen, I was out of my head on zimmos and yellows."

Det Gda McHugh also told the court the teenager made threats against the girl to gardai after his arrest. It was alleged he said to officers he was "going to blow her head off and blow up her house" and "would finish her off".

It was alleged the accused said: "If I do not get out tonight her house will be burned down, if I cannot do it I will get someone else to do it."

It was also alleged the teenager made made calls to the girl's father and made threats against his son.

"The family are obviously petrified," Det Gda McHugh said. She also informed the court that a sim card had been found on the teenager after he was arrested and it would be examined. The accused's defence counsel told the court her client denied the allegations and that his Facebook page was open to use by others. Counsel said her client had been "watched around the clock" by his family to ensure he abided by his bail terms.

The defence also submitted that the accused's family had been subjected to threats and it was planned that the teenager would get psychiatric help.

The defence also asked the court to note that the boy could reside with a sibling outside of Dublin, where he would not have internet access or a mobile phone, if he was granted bail.

Judge Leonard said the teenager, whose parents were present for the case, was "not well" but she was not satisfied as to his "bona fides" and the effort to get him psychiatric help "was not progressed as quickly as it ought to have been given the very serious circumstances."

She remanded him in custody to appear again tomorrow for the youth's sister to be present to see if she would stand bail.

Irish Independent

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