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Teen allowed to return home after agreeing to drug testing

Teen allowed to return home after agreeing to drug testing

A 16-year-old Dublin boy who spent almost two weeks in custody following a domestic violence incident has been allowed home for Christmas on condition he agrees to drug testing.

The youth had been charged with criminal damage to a door at his house on a date earlier this month and was refused bail at the Dublin Children's Court because his mother would not take him back.

Today the case resumed and Judge John O'Connor was told by defence counsel Damian McKeone that the teen's mother was prepared to allow him back if he abided by a number of conditions. The teenager was ordered to obey a nightly curfew, not engage in threatening behaviour and to attend addiction counselling. 

He must abstain from drugs and alcohol and also be prepared to be tested for drugs if asked and he has to take up a place on an educational course.

He indicated he understood when warned by the judge that he would go back into custody if he broke the terms.

Judge O'Connor was furnished with welfare reports on the teenager.

He the boy's problems stemmed from abuse of cannabis as well as Benzodiazepine tablets which are similar to Valium. Judge O'Connor said  the case was very serious and involved an an assault on the youth's step-father as well as three gardai. 

The judge said he noted that this happened in the presence of younger children “who could be affected their whole lives” and he added, “it is simply because of your drug taking”.

Adjourning the case, the judge warned the boy, whose mother was present for the case, that he “will be straight back in” if he breaches the bail terms.