Monday 21 October 2019

Teen sent murder death threat text to mother

Tom Tuite

A TROUBLED teenage boy is to be sentenced in July for threatening to murder his mother and watch her die in a text message he sent her after he was put into care.


The boy (17) pleaded guilty today to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to his mother on a date last September.


Judge John O'Connor heard at the Dublin Children's Court that the boy, who is on bail, had been placed into care in 2011 and spent weeks living in hostels before permanent accommodation was found for him.


He said the teen's mother must have been in fear for her life after she received her son's message. Sentencing was adjourned to allow time for a probation report to be prepared and the judge told the teenager that this could involve psychological assessments.


The boy sent his mother a text message which read: “Right, you delete my number and my Da, if I ever hear from any of you contacting my staff or social worker or any of my mates I will personally walk up to your house and stab both of you and watch you die right in front of my eye”


“I mean it, this is not a threat, it is a promise I'm starting a new life and I don't want any of you in it because you all f**ked me over some way down the road.”


About a month later he was caught trespassing at his mother's home which he also admitted yesterday (TUE). The teenager, who has no previous criminal convictions, also pleaded guilty to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to a female youth care worker. He had corned her and threatened that “he would slice her throat” during a frightening confrontation.


Despite these allegations the boy continued to live at the children's home until being recently given alternative accommodation in another care facility.


Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said that the teenager had lived with his mother for most of his life but there had been a number of problems and social services had become involved.


The boy's mother could not “contain him safely in the family unit” because of certain “risk-taking behaviours” he had engaged in, the lawyer said.


Mr Noble said the teenager was taken into care and at first stayed in “out-of-hours” hostels for ten weeks before being sent to a high support care centre. At first it had been thought he may have to be sent into a special care facility but he began to respond to therapeutic interventions.


Afterwards he was moved to another residential care home, the lawyer said adding that it was against this backdrop of events that the offences took place. Mr Noble stressed that the boy is trying to rebuild his relationship with his mother who had recently sent him a message of support. 


Judge O'Connor said “it is very sad, there are obviously significant issues here” and added that the charges were very serious and the boy's aggression gave rise to safety issues.


He did not indicate what sentence will be imposed but commented that the boy's guilty plea was a significant mitigating factor. He also told the teenager that a probation report was being sought which could involve a psychological assessment, and warned him that if he did not co-operate the court will be left with “very little options”.


The boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by a care worker, said “I did a lot of stupid things when I was young, I'm trying to keep my head straight”.

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