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Boy (14) carried drugs to pay debt

A 14-year-old boy who claimed he transported €5,000 worth of cannabis and heroin to pay off a drug debt has been given an eight-month custodial sentence.

The boy, now 16, had pleaded guilty to possessing the drugs for sale or supply in west Dublin on a date in November, 2008.

His case, at Dublin Children's Court, had been adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence probation report to be furnished to the court.

The Probation Service had been trying to work with the boy to help him to address his offending and to involve him in cannabis addiction counselling.

However, Judge Bryan Smyth yesterday noted that since the teenager pleaded guilty last November to the drugs charges, he had continued to be arrested for more offences.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan said her client initially made good progress when his case was adjourned.

However, in January he started getting arrested on new charges. She said the boy had mental health problems.