Tuesday 12 December 2017

Youth asked court that he be detained to stop him re-offending

Tom Tuite

A DUBLIN youth, who wanted to be detained to prevent him from re-offending, has been given a six-month sentence after he was caught beside a detention centre with cannabis deals hidden in an egg.

Garda Gary Molloy told Judge Ann Ryan at Dublin Children's Court that he spotted the then 17-year-old at “an area where drugs are brought to throw into St Patrick's Institution”.

The teenager walked along the Royal Canal which is beside the detention centre in Dublin city's north-side for youths aged from 17 to 21; "he had a can of Coke and an egg sellotaped to the can”.

The garda said he called out to the youth to stop at which the teen threw the can into the canal.

The can was recovered and inside the egg attached to it was found 15 silver foil wraps. Gda Molloy explained that they contained about 11 grammes of cannabis worth E17.

The youth, now aged 18, pleaded guilty to possessing the cannabis in the vicinity of a prison contrary to Section 15C of the Misuse of Drugs Act, on September 21 last. He also admitted that he had obstructed a drug search.

Judge Ryan heard that the teenager who had 31 prior criminal convictions including two for drug dealing offences, wanted to be detained.

Defence counsel Cathal O Braonain told Judge Ryan that the youth had done well in school but left after he completed the Junior Certificate. The teen's older brother is serving a sentence in St Patrick's Institution and since he was very young he had no contact with his father.

Mr O Braonain said that the youth, who had been on bail, did not want his case to be adjourned for a probation report to be furnished. The teen believed “he may well get into further trouble”, the court was told.

“He feels that he would re-offend if let out on bail, he is being realistic,” counsel said.

Judge Ryan was furnished with older probation reports from some of the boy's previous hearings. She said the offence was serious as she imposed a six-month term and also ordered that he was to be on probation supervision for one year.

The judge explained to the teenager that he had done well in school before and there was no reason why he could not get back into education or onto a training course on his release.

She said that when he gets out the Probation Service could help him see what is available and that he had to accept their guidance.

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