Teen caught almost three months after Oberstown breakout

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Gardai found the boy in Blanchardstown in the early hours of Tuesday
Gardai found the boy in Blanchardstown in the early hours of Tuesday

A youth who evaded arrest for almost three months after a breakout from a Dublin detention centre, was caught by gardai today.

Four teenage boys managed to abscond from the Oberstown youth detention facility in Lusk on July 25th last and three of them were found and returned within days.

However, the remaining fugitive, aged 17, dodged capture and was large until he was found at a house in Blanchardstown in Dublin in the early hours of Tuesday.

The teenager was charged with escaping from custody – which can result in three-month sentence – and was brought before Judge John O'Connor at the Dublin Children's Court.

In evidence, Garda Alan Barry said the boy was arrested at 2.10am and “made no reply” when charged. The teen greeted the judge on entering the court but remained silent for the rest of the hearing.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his lawyer, did not make a bail application and consented to being remanded back to the Oberstown juvenile detention facility which can hold up to 48 boys and is frequently operating to full capacity.

The case resumes later this month.

Legal aid was granted but he has not yet entered a plea.“Love you loads,” his mother told him as he was escorted from the courtroom.

A month before the breakout, he had been refused bail at the juvenile court in connection with a litany of incidents that are alleged to have occurred in residential areas in north Dublin on dates from February 2nd until June 19th last. The case had stalled as a result of the escape from custody.

The boy, was accused of failing to turn up to court on two dates, trespassing with intent to commit an offence and interfering with a motor vehicle at the Shanliss Road, Santry, D9, on a date in February; motor theft in Swords in north Dublin on June 9, stealing another vehicle in Swords a day later when it is also alleged he had a vice grips as an implement.

He was also charged with criminal damage to two cars at St Cronan's Court, Swords, in north Dublin, unlawfully interfering with two vehicles, trespassing and having a metal bar as an implement to commit theft in the early hours of June 19th last. It was after the last of these charges was brought that he was denied bail and sent to the Oberstown facility.

At his hearing on the afternoon of June 19th, he was battered and bruised in court with dried blood on his face and a cut lip. He was also bleeding from his mouth and with a swollen, discoloured right cheek and eye.

Gardai and residents pursued him and he allegedly ran to the back of a house; he was found hiding in a bush and residents from the area got to him first, the court had heard.

The teenager allegedly threatened he knew who had beaten him up and gardai feared he would interfere with witnesses.

Counsel defending had said the boy vehemently denied these allegations and would claim that he had gone for a walk in the area after he had a row with his father and was attacked by a group of people.