A DUBLIN youth who broke into 14 cars in two days to pay back a drug debt to a group of "heavies", has had his sentencing adjourned.
Judge John O'Connor noted at Dublin Children's Court that the 17-year-old boy had been found to be at a low risk of reoffending by the Probation Service and has begun to tackle the problems which fuelled his crime spree.
The teen has accepted help for his substance misuse, has taken up sports again and will return to education.
Judge O'Connor said the boy had addressed his issues as best he can, reducing his cannabis usage and changing his peer group. He ordered further probation supervision and adjourned the case until October.
He warned the teenager that if the progress does not continue, he risks a custodial sentence.
Earlier, the court heard that the first-time offender had been doing well in school and was active in sports until he began abusing "street tablets", which led to him building up a massive drug debt to people who later began to intimidate his family.
He broke into 14 cars during a two-day crime spree, and when he came to court he pleaded guilty to 15 criminal damage charges.
The then 16-year-old also admitted four connected charges, for possessing a long piece of steel and a hammer to use in thefts, theft of €5 and a bottle of aftershave, and a charge of attempted burglary.