false fit | 

Teen drug dealer who faked fit and taunted gardai 'I'll be next black lives matter' avoids jail

The boy, who is not black, denied possessing drugs for supply and obstruction charges following the incident

Dublin Children's Court

Tom Tuite

A 15-YEAR-OLD drug dealer who taunted gardai that he would be the next "black lives matter" and "make a fortune" after resisting a €4,000 cannabis arrest has been spared a custodial sentence.

The boy, now 17, who is not black, denied possessing drugs for supply and obstruction charges following the incident 300 metres from Dublin's Kevin Street Garda station on July 7, 2020.

However, the schoolboy was found guilty following a contested hearing at Dublin Children's Court. As a result, a pre-sentence report was furnished to Judge Paul Kelly.

He released the teen under a conditional 12-month probation bond.

The court heard gardai suspected he "feigned" an epileptic fit and passing out before after putting up a struggle and making spitting noises.

On the journey to the garda station, Judge Paul Kelly heard he told officers, "did you like that I can't breathe, having a fit". He then gibed, "I'll be the next black lives matter, people thinking you nearly killed me, your job is done. I'm going to make a fortune off you."

The boy, accompanied to court by his mother, was remanded on bail for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Garda Mark Kelly told the court he was in a lane in an area known as the Cabbage Patch in Dublin 8. He heard a male's voice getting closer, shouting, "I have that; I'll be around in a minute".

The boy came around a corner with plastic bags bulging under his jacket. He could see an organic material inside, which he suspected was cannabis.

The teen shimmed away from Garda Kelly and his colleague, and one of the bags fell, bursting on the ground.

During the struggle, they went to the ground, and the teen shouted, "I'm epileptic" and "I can't breathe".

Garda Matthew Kennefick said the teen had bags of cannabis "stuffed" into his jacket and continued to lash out. He pulled the teen's jacket over his mouth when the youth made a spitting sound and tried to bite him.

The teen said he had trouble breathing, and the garda pulled his jacket back down.

A doctor attended to him at Kevin Street Garda station and said there was no issue and he was fit for an interview.

The court heard there were 38 deal bags, and during his interview, the teenager said there was a "drought" at the time. He said the drugs were worth €4,000.

In his interview, he claimed he was not dealing but had to carry the cannabis to pay a drug debt.

Cross-examined by counsel, the gardai said the three of them fell to the ground but denied punching the boy. Gardai found €550 in the boy's phone cover, which they seized.

The boy, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, did not testify during the hearing.

The judge heard the teen had no court convictions but had been given five cautions under the Garda juvenile diversion programme.

He must stay out of trouble, comply with the terms of a supervision order, and follow the directions of his probation officer to divert him from re-offending. Otherwise, the case could be reopened with a risk of a custodial sentence instead.

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