Teen charged with pulling knife on his social worker


A JUDGE has ordered the arrest of a troubled Dublin teenager who has been charged with brandishing a knife at his social worker.

The boy, 15, dodged having bail revoked at a court hearing on Monday because the Oberstown juvenile detention facility for boys, in north Dublin, was full. He was granted bail and ordered to appear yesterday at the Dublin Children's Court.

When the case was called Judge James Faughnan heard that gardai were present along with staff from the teenager's care facility, a court appointed guardian ad litem, a lawyer for the Child and Family Agency and the teenager's solicitor.

However, the boy did not show up and defence solicitor Gareth Noble explained that after the teen was granted bail on Monday he returned to his care unit. However, he later absconded when he was brought out on a trip to play pool.

Mr Noble said the boy was very vulnerable and efforts were being made to have him placed in a more secure care facility.

Judge Faughnan consented to a garda request to issue a bench warrant for the teen's arrest.

The boy has been charged with producing a kitchen knife with a four-inch blade which was capable of inflicting serious injury in connection with an incident at his family home on a date last February.

Earlier, the juvenile court heard said the social worker had been at the boy's home but “things got heated” and the teenager “picked up a kitchen knife”. It was alleged he held it “downward” and chased the social worker.

The teenager has not yet entered a plea, however, he is also awaiting sentencing for attacking his father. Psychiatric assessments had already been furnished to the court at an earlier stage in the proceedings.

Previously another 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.

The court has heard the parents have been “driven demented”; they could not cope with their son's problems and the Child and Family Agency was told 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.

The court has 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 his dad, the boy, replied: “I don't care.”

The youth, who has become estranged from his parents and was later placed in a care home, has pleaded guilty to the attack on his father, and also faces other charges for shoplifting, criminal damage and public order offences

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