NewsCourts

Boy who engaged in "levels of violence way beyond his years" remanded

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Boy who engaged in "levels of violence way beyond his years" remanded

A TROUBLED boy, who is awaiting sentencing for attacking his father, has been further remanded in custody pending efforts by child welfare services to provide him with suitable accommodation and care.

The boy, 15, is on remand in a juvenile detention centre after his bail was revoked last month by the Dublin Children's Court. Judge John O'Connor further remanded him in custody to appear again next week.

Earlier he had said the teenager has been engaging “in levels of violence way beyond his years”. The court had also been told the boy has engaged in self harming incidents in a juvenile detention centre.

Judge O'Connor has told the Child and Family Agency (CFA) that the boy “has significant issues that did not just develop overnight”.

The CFA are attempting to place the boy in a secure care facility but the teen's mother has accused child welfare services of not providing help when it was first needed.

His parents could not cope with his problems and he had to reside in emergency hostel accommodation before his bail was rescinded.

The boy has pleaded guilty to assaulting his father during an incident in the family home.

Judge O'Connor, who was furnished with psychiatric reports on the boy, has said that early intervention did not happen and the boy's parents have been “driven demented”.

“If there were proper care support, he would not be in custody,” Judge O'Connor has said.

He noted the CFA had found that the teenager was not co-operative, but the judge had said that was one of the reasons the boy was before the court. The teenager was also involved in some levels of violence, “way beyond his years, and that is a very significant issue, the judge has said.

Despite being violent the boy was also vulnerable, he also said and he noted that last month the boy lied about his age to get a bed in an adult hostel.

The court could not be expected to keep him in custody while matters were being sorted out by the CFA, the judge has warned.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble has said the boy's parents are not in a position to safely maintain their son. 

He has also furnished the court with a report from a mental health facility which outlined diagnoses of the boy's behavioural issues. However, Mr Noble has said that facility's services is no longer available to the boy because of his lack of co-operation.

The youth, who has become estranged from his parents and had been relying on emergency hostel accommodation, has pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to attacking his father and damaging a TV following an incident at the family home last August.

Last month during a court hearing he threw a shoe at a garda who was giving evidence against him. There were also new charges for criminal damage to a taxi car and possessing a stolen bicycle. Mr Noble said the teenager's latest charges have arisen in the context of him being left reliant on hostel accommodation.

But currently the only accommodation that could be offered to the boy was in hostels.

Judge O'Connor heard that during an assault incident in the boy's home, the teenager “grabbed his father by the throat and pushed him against the wall causing bruising.”

The marks he left on his father during the attack have since cleared up.

The boy had gone missing for days afterwards and would not reveal where he had been staying in that time. After he was charged with the offences, the boy replied: “I don't care.”

The court has also heard that in February he threatened a social worker while armed with a steak-knife and he chased him from the house. This left social workers scared to be involved with him.