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Teen who attacked his father and absconded from residential care home remanded in custody

Teen who attacked his father and absconded from residential care home remanded in custody

A TROUBLED teenage boy awaiting sentencing for attacking his father has been remanded in custody.

Judge John O'Connor heard at the Dublin Children's Court that the boy's family would not take him home and that the 15-year-old had absconded for five days from a residential care home placement provided by the Child and Family Agency (CFA).

The CFA provided him with accommodation in April after he had then spent the previous month in a juvenile detention centre on remand.

Yesterday the teen smiled and laughed during the proceedings in which his mother addressed the court to say “I don't want him near my house”. “Enough is enough, sorry your Honour I feel like this but that is the way I feel.”

Judge O'Connor noted evidence of breach of bail and remanded the boy in custody to appear again next week. He queried whether the teenager may have health issues that need to be addressed due to his inappropriate behaviour in court which the judge said “is not normal behaviour for a child his age”.

Psychiatric assessments of the teen had already been requested at an earlier stage in the proceedings. 

Earlier the judge had said the teenager's behaviour has involved “levels of violence way beyond his years” and the court had also been told the boy has engaged in self harming incidents. However,  a child welfare committee has deemed that he is not suitable for being placed in a secure care facility.

Judge O'Connor has already said the parents could not cope with their son's problems and he has told the CFA that the boy “has significant issues that did not just develop overnight”. The teen's mother has also accused child welfare services of not providing help when it was first needed.

Yesterday she said she had enough of running around after her son and it was up the the CFA took to look after him.

The court heard that during an incident last August the boy “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.

After he was charged with attacking hid dad, the boy replied: “I don't care.”

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

He has also said there was not adequate bail support, which, he has also said , is one of the biggest problems in Children's Court cases.

At an earlier stage, he noted the CFA had found that the teenager was not co-operative, but the judge has pointed out that this 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 had said. Despite being violent the boy was also vulnerable, he has also said.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble has said the boy's parents are not in a position to safely maintain their son. A report from a mental health facility which outlined diagnoses of the boy's behavioural issues has been furnished to the court. However, the defence have 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, has pleaded guilty to the attack on his father.

His bail was also revoked in March during a court hearing in which he threw a shoe at a garda in court.

The court has also heard that in March 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.