Court hears knife boy (15) on bail has threats against his life

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The boy admitted possessing a knife which he brandished at a group of teenage girls
The boy admitted possessing a knife which he brandished at a group of teenage girls

A TROUBLED teenage boy, who brandished a knife at a group of young girls, has been re-admitted to bail.

Dublin Children's Court heard there is now a threat against the 15-year-old boy's life and he cannot go home but the Child and Family Agency (CFA) have arranged accommodation for him.

Judge John O'Connor praised the CFA for the support services they have put in place for the boy.

The teen, whose bail had been revoked two weeks ago, was released and ordered to appear again later this month.

He must obey a curfew, stay sober and not go to parts of west Dublin or not associate with four named youths otherwise, the judge warned, bail would be revoked again. The teenager, who was accompanied to court by family members and his lawyer, spoke only to confirm that he understood the terms.

In December, a positive pre-sentence probation report on the boy was furnished to the court. But the court heard the teenager has since picked up four new charges and there were concerns for his safety in light of threats.

Two of his new charges are for knife possession and the others are under the Public Order Act.

He missed 13 dates when he was supposed to sign on at his local garda station, he had not gone to an educational programme or meetings with his probation officer and had breached a curfew imposed by the court. Defence counsel Mr McKeone had said this was result of the threat.

Earlier this month, the court was told that the boy was not in care and if he were released he would have had to rely on emergency hostel accommodation. His grandfather had said: “I could not live with myself if something happened to him, there's a crowd after him,”

Judge O'Connor has said at that stage that the support the youth needed on bail was not adequate.

At an earlier stage, the boy had spent several weeks in custody on remand and specialist assessments of him were carried out at a detention centre.

The boy has admitted possessing a knife which he brandished at a group of teenage girls.

At a previous stage he was also granted bail to reside in accommodation provided by the CFA. However, subsequently he was allowed reside with his family again.

At an earlier hearing, in 2014, a youth-worker had said he regularly brought the teen on outings which acted as “informal counselling”. “He has a lot of stuff going on and we do kind of thrash it out,” the youth-worker had said.

At that stage the teen had been attending an educational programme and his behaviour there was described as “impeccable”.

A garda had also told the court that if the boy got the “right sort of attention he will be a smashing young fellow.” The officer has also said that while the incident was serious, “I do not see him as a criminal”.

The boy, however, has not yet indicated how he will plead to the new charges.