Court hears boy (14) had €2,000 worth of heroin and cocaine in his pocket
A 14-YEAR-OLD Dublin schoolboy was caught with more than €2,000 worth of cocaine and heroin stashed in his pocket, a court heard today.
Judge John O'Connor described the boy's case as a “horror” and said he needed to find out if the teen was a dealer or had been used by an organised crime gang to clear a drug debt.
Dublin Children's Court heard that on a date in April the boy was observed travelling in as a passenger in a car. He was arrested and brought to Ballymun Garda station in north Dublin where he was searched.
Gda Ryan Duddy told Judge O'Connor that “a quantity of drugs were found in his pocket”. He said the boy had 22 packets of cocaine worth €232 as well as nine packets of heroin which were worth €1,854.
The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his barrister, pleaded guilty to the charge but did not address the court. He also admitted obstructing a drug search in north Dublin in May when he managed to run away from from gardai.
He has also pleaded guilty to a burglary at a house in 2015 in Glasnevin, Dublin where he stole a lawnmower, when he was aged 13. The boy has no prior criminal convictions.
Judge O'Connor said the guilty plea was significant but he added “It certainly comes across to me that he is a dealer”.
Defence counsel Damian McKeone said the court knew the teen for minor offences and this was a “huge step up”. He asked the court to note the teenager had not continued to get into in trouble over the summer months and he has returned to school.
He also said that while the teenager appeared reticent to talk about it, this was because he was inhibited and had difficulty communicating.
Judge O'Connor was furnished with a probation report on the young boy and said it showed the boy did not express remorse.
He said the boy comes across as criminalised and he may have had to pay off a drug debt. He noted the teen had a supportive mother and this was a positive factor but he said “it is simply criminal behaviour”.
He said the court needed to know if the boy was being sent out drug dealing by organised criminals to pay a debt.
“This is really serious, crime gang stuff, I need to know as much information as possible,” the judge said, adding that the court could help him. But he went onto to say that “I cannot have a a 14-year-old going around acting in this manner”.
He described it as a "horror" saying the court would have to put a stop to it and he warned the teenager, who is currently on bail, that he risks facing a custodial sentence.
Sentencing was adjourned for an updated probation report on the teenager to be prepared.