NewsCourts

Teen who brandished knife at young girls remanded in custody

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Teen who brandished knife at young girls remanded in custody

A TROUBLED teenage boy, who brandished a knife at a group of young girls, has agreed to be held in a juvenile detention centre.

Dublin Children's Court heard there is a threat against the 15-year-old boy's life, he cannot go home and social workers will have accommodation arranged for him by next week. Judge John O'Connor noted today that the teenager, whose bail was revoked last week, consented to being held until March 18.

The judge also acceded to defence counsel Damian McKeone's request for a psychiatric assessment of the boy to be commenced while he is in custody.

In December a positive pre-sentence probation report on the boy was furnished to the court. But the court heard the teenager has since picked up four new charges and there were concerns for his safety in light of threats.

Two of his new charges are for knife possession and the others are under the Public Order Act.

He missed 13 dates when he was supposed to sign on at his local garda station, he had not gone to an educational programme or meetings with his probation officer and had breached a curfew imposed by the court. Defence counsel Mr McKeone said this was result of the threat.

The boy is not currently in care and if he were released he would have had to rely on emergency hostel accommodation, the court had heard. His grandfather said: “I could not live with myself if something happened to him, there's a crowd after him,”

Judge O'Connor has said the support the youth needed on bail was not adequate.

At an earlier stage, the boy had spent several weeks in custody on remand and specialist assessments of him were carried out at a detention centre.

The boy has admitted possessing a knife which he brandished at a group of teenage girls.

When he was initially granted bail he was released to live at accommodation provided by the Child and Family Agency. However, subsequently he was allowed reside with his family again.

At a previous court hearing, last year, a youth-worker said he regularly brought the teen on outings which acted as “informal counselling”. “He has a lot of stuff going on and we do kind of thrash it out,” the youth-worker had said.

At that stage the teen had been attending an educational programme and his behaviour there was described as “impeccable”.

A garda had also told the court that if the boy got the “right sort of attention he will be a smashing young fellow.” The officer has also said that while the incident was serious, “I do not see him as a criminal”.