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Teen who pulled knife on girls avoids having criminal record

Teen who pulled knife on girls avoids having criminal record

A TROUBLED teenage boy, who brandished a knife at a group of young girls during a litany of incidents involving weapons, has been given a chance to avoid having a criminal record.

The 16-year-old boy was released on conditional bail at the Dublin Children's Court today after spending two months on remand in custody.

Judge John O'Connor was furnished with comprehensive welfare reports on the boy who was accompanied to court by his mother and grandfather.

He noted the teenager has accepted his behaviour was very challenging, that he had difficulties growing up and was in different care placements.

He “needed to deal with his anger”, the court heard before his case was adjourned until January.

The boy has admitted possessing a knife which he brandished at a group of teenage girls in west Dublin on a date in October last year. He has also pleaded guilty to possessing a knife at another location on the same date.

He has also admitted breach of the peace at shop in Adamstown in Dublin and producing a pellet gun with intention of intimidating staff and members of the public during an incident on January 3 last.

He has also pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing knives during two incidents in February and criminal damage to a car at training course centre in Dublin on a date in October last year.

Earlier the court was told that there was a threat against the boy's life, he cannot go home and social services have arranged a placement for him.

He spent the last two months in custody on remand for breaking bail terms.

Releasing him Judge O'Connor said there were positive factors and assessments of the teenager found him to be intelligent and “a perfectly normal child”. He also had a supportive grandfather and had co-operated with various agencies.

He has also secured a place on a training course and social services were prepared to work with him. Judge O'Connor agreed with the boy's case manager Garda Graham Sullivan to defer finalising the case until the new year to see if the teenager attends the course and meets his social workers.

The teenager was released with conditions including a curfew and an order that he must not be under the influence of any intoxicant. He was also told he must co-operate with care workers and attend his appointments at mental health facility.

He cannot go to certain parts of Dublin city-centre unless he is supervised and he has to sign on twice a week at a garda station.

Judge O'Connor noted the boy, who agreed he needed to deal with his anger, has spent a considerable period in custody on remand and that will be taken into consideration.

Wishing the teenager a happy Christmas, he also said that going forward the boy would not want a record of these offences and everyone involved in the case wanted him to succeed. The case resumes in January but the judge warned he would not be able to give the teen the Probation Act if he does not comply. Earlier the court was told the teenager was the subject of a threat. His grandfather had said: “I could not live with myself if something happened to him, there's a crowd after him.”

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.

Garda Sullivan has 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 incidents were serious, “I do not see him as a criminal”.