Teen prowler jailed after 'ditching family for drug-using pals'

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Teen prowler jailed after 'ditching family for drug-using pals'

A TEENAGE prowler who "prioritised his peer group over his family" has been detained for three months.

The 16-year-old boy, who pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to shoplifting thefts, trespassing and criminal damage offences, had repeatedly broken bail conditions.

Judge John O'Connor imposed a six-month detention-supervision order on the boy. This means that the teenager will serve a three-month custodial sentence followed by three months' post release supervision of the Probation Service.

The court heard that the teen dropped out of school and fell in with known drug users.

The boy pleaded guilty to trespassing at a house at Howth Road in Raheny in north Dublin on March 14 last year.

In May last year, he stole €37 worth of alcohol a supermarket.

On September 22, last year, offences were committed at six houses in Clontarf in north Dublin when he stole a bike, was caught with another stolen bicycle and damaged locks on sheds. In March, he also stole €4 worth of groceries from a shop.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble told Judge O'Connor that the teenager had previously attended a special needs school.

He had speech and language difficulties and was found to be "partially receptive" but a full assessment of the teenager was never carried out and "the full extent of his difficulties have never been established".

The teen, who was accompanied to court by his mother, did not address the court which heard how he continually breached bail conditions which included a curfew.

He also has more serious charges, including a school burglary allegation, back before the court next month.

Mr Noble said the teenager associated with youths many of whom were known drug users and he had "prioritised his peer group over his family and that has led him to trouble".

His mother, who was present for the hearing, wants to repair their relationship, the court heard.