Saturday 17 August 2019

Teen who fatally stabbed 17-year-old to be sentenced as an adult

Dovydas Jenkus (17)
Dovydas Jenkus (17)

Eoin Reynolds

A teenage boy who stabbed a 17-year-old to death on Christmas week will be sentenced as an adult when he returns to court next year.

The teenager, who turns 18 this month, would have been sentenced as a juvenile if a treatment plan had been available today. As an adult, if the court imposes a custodial sentence he will be imprisoned rather than detained.

His legal representatives said they are aware that his status will change but they feel it is important that the court knows his treatment plan and prognosis ahead of sentencing.

The court heard that a consultant neurologist has drawn up a report but it is too early to make a clear opinion about the boy's future condition. The neurologist wishes to share his data with other experts to decide how best to proceed.

The teenager was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by a jury at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Castlebar in July.

The deceased, Dovydas Jenkas, of Mount Street, Claremorris, died from a single stab wound in the early hours of December 19th, 2015 in Claremorris.

Michael Bowman SC for the defendant has previously said that his client was suffering from an epileptic type condition with seizures up to ten times a day. The episodes involve transient alteration of awareness, posturing, automatic behaviours with rapid return to normality, the court heard. The accused has no memory during the spells and surgery may be needed.

Justice Eileen Creedon said that she had known there might be difficulty in setting out a treatment plan this early as Mr Bowman had flagged it during a previous hearing. She noted that both the defence and prosecution are happy to proceed so she saw no reason not to. "I will be sentencing him as an adult," she said, "but all parties are cognisant of that fact."

Adjourning sentencing to January 16, she asked for an updated probation report and the medical report to be made available.

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