NewsCrime Desk

Teen awaits sentence for pulling knife on care worker

Teen awaits sentence for pulling knife on care worker

A TROUBLED 15-year-old boy is awaiting sentencing for threatening to stab a care worker who was being attacked by another youth during a serious outbreak of violence at a children's home.

A care worker in the home was knocked unconscious when he was attacked by another boy, aged 17, who was armed with a sock containing a heavy bottle of aftershave, Dublin Children's Court heard.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone asked the court to note that the 15-year-old boy was under the direction of the older youth when he got a knife and threatened to stab one of the care workers during the incident last September.

A car was stolen from the facility following the assault and was later written-off, however, the 15-year-old boy was not the driver.

The teen pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill or cause serious harm in connection with the incident. Sentencing was adjourned until May to allow time for a victim impact statement and probation report on the boy to be prepared.

The boy, who is on bail, remains in care and has managed to salvage his placement despite his involvement in the incident.

Mr McKeone called his former court appointed guardian ad litem who has worked with him for three years to give evidence. She said the boy is very aware he is facing a very serious case.

She said he had been very co-operative in care despite being deeply saddened because he was separated from his relatives whom, she said, are a traditional traveller family.

She agreed with Judge John O'Connor that the boy had detachment issues. 

His mother had difficulties putting boundaries in place for him. It was thought that when he first went into the care home it would not hold him and but he has settled in and is taking part in sports activities. He had diffidences reading and writing and while he hates going to the school placement arranged for him, he still attends and staff there “love to see him”.

He looks tough but is remorseful and is worried about the court proceedings, the child welfare expert said.

The older youth is facing Circuit Court trial because the allegations against him are more serious. A 14-year-old boy is also before the juvenile court on charges connected to the incident.