Teen could avoid trial over violent incidents in care home

Teen could avoid trial over violent incidents in care home

A YOUTH could avoid trial and a possible sentence for alleged violent incidents at a secure care home for troubled teenagers.

The 17-year-old boy's case is to be reviewed to see if he  can be dealt with through the Garda juvenile crime diversion programmes which does not result in a criminal record or sentence, if the youth has owned up the offence.

He appeared at the Dublin Children's Court and he was remanded on continuing bail pending the decision. 

He is accused of possessing two pieces of wood sharpened to a point with protruding screws, and criminal damage to a door at the Ballydowd special care unit in Dublin, a 10-bed therapeutic facility where teens with behavioural issues are detained by order of the High Court, for their own safety and welfare.

It is alleged that incident happened last September.

He is also accused of criminal damage to fixtures and fittings including windows and doors, and threatening to cause criminal damage, on two dates in in July last year. On one of those dates it is also alleged he assaulted two gardai.

Earlier defence solicitor Gareth Noble told the court there had been previous prosecutions against the boy arising out of his time in the facility and there were issues in relation to the “criminalisation of children in secure care”.

The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, is no longer living in the care facility. He will meet with a garda juvenile liaison officer next week at his home, his solicitor told Judge John O'Connor today.