Youth who escaped from Oberstown detention facility faces sentence


A YOUTH, who escaped from a Dublin detention centre while he was awaiting trial for a litany of offences, will be sentenced in November.

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 October 13th. The teenager was charged with escaping from custody – which can result in a three-month sentence – before he was brought before Judge John O'Connor at the Dublin Children's Court and was remanded in custody.

He appeared again at the juvenile court today and pleaded guilty to the escape charge as well as other offences.

During the breakout another youth had managed to get a ladder which was to get over the perimeter wall. In evidence, Garda Alan Barry said the boy was the last of the youths to get out of the 48-bed detention centre.

The boy also admitted skipping court on two dates as well as driving without a licence, motor insurance or an L-plate and non display of a tax disc in Swords in north Dublin on October 27 and November 20th last year.

He also admitted trespassing and attempted motor theft at a house in Santry, in north Dublin on February 7 last. The court heard he and an accomplice were disturbed and fled after they “attempted to break into a car”.

Judge O'Connor was told the teenager had 24 prior criminal convictions and he adjourned sentencing for two weeks to allow time for a probation report on they youth to be prepared.

The teen's prior crimes included two counts of assault causing harm and one threat to kill or cause serious harm to another person. He also had one previous conviction for drug dealing, three for simple possession of drugs for his own use, as well as three for criminal damage, five counts of theft, two for dangerous driving, one for trespassing, five for various motoring offences such as produce a licence as well as another one travelling as a passenger in a stolen vehicle.

The boy's lawyer said in mitigation pleas that he “had issues with taking tablets, cocaine and alcohol in the past and would have scant recollection of some of these offences”. The city juvenile court heard he wanted to make a clean breast of things and become drug free in the future.

His escape led to a litany of other charges being stalled and they have yet to be re-entered by gardai.

A month before the breakout, he had been refused bail at the juvenile court in connection with alleged incidents at residential areas in north Dublin. 

He had been charged with criminal damage to two cars at St Cronan's Court in Swords, 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 originally 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.