Thursday 5 December 2019

Teen to be sentenced over rampage in children's centre

Tom Tuite

A TEENAGER, who caused more than €4,000 worth of damages and attacked a care worker during a rampage in a children's home, is to be sentenced in July.

The Dublin Children's Court heard that on a date in January, the 17-year-old broke into a filing cabinet where he found a knife before he turned on care staff and “threatened them to stay away from him”.

Garda Leona Lennon said the youth went to the kitchen in the care home and was involved in “a lot of pushing and shoving” with a member of staff. The teenager “poured a tin of beans over his head and a can of coke” before throwing a frozen turkey at the care worker.

Gda Darren Farrell also told the court in evidence that during an earlier incident, last November, the teenager had caused €4,285 worth of damages at the children's home.

The youth, who pleaded guilty to criminal damage and assault charges, broke a TV and a bannisters, and smashed holes into walls.

Defence solicitor Michelle Sheerin told the court that the boy's family came to the attention of welfare agencies in 2005 and he had witnessed a lot of violence in his childhood. He has been in eight care centres, she also said.

The defence lawyer also said the teenager has turned a corner, his relationship with his mother has improved and he is now in semi-independent accommodation.

The juvenile court heard that in the past there had been child protection concerns, “100 significant event notifications” and the teenager had difficulty with female care staff in front of whom he had behaved inappropriately.

The court noted that the boy had been found to be at a high risk of ref-offending but is getting support for his drug abuse problem and educational help.

Judge John O'Connor asked for an updated probation report and adjourned the case until July 3 next for sentencing.

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