guilty plea Teen who knifed friend to death after being called a 'rat' given life sentence
A TEENAGER who pleaded guilty to murdering his friend who had called him a "rat" has been sentenced to detention for life with a review after 10 years.
The 17-year-old, who can't be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty in August to the murder of Glen 'Ossie' Osborne (20) at Ballybough House, Ballybough, Dublin on April 15.
Mr Osborne's partner Lauren Cray gave birth to their first child two months after his death.
The convicted teen will remain at Oberstown Children Detention Campus until his 18th birthday when he will be transferred to an adult prison.
Mr Justice Paul McDermott at the Central Criminal Court yesterday ordered reports to be drawn up by relevant health professionals on the boy's 18th birthday and every two years following his transfer to adult prison.
The judge, who will review the case in 2030, will have access to those reports before deciding whether to continue his imprisonment.
Mr Justice McDermott said the most significant aggravating factor in the murder was that the teen had armed himself with a knife before confronting Mr Osborne.
"The fact he brought a knife and contemplated to use it, and the fact he used it on another human being he knew to be unarmed, who was his friend and who was unaware this was to happen, was an aggravating factor in this case," he said.
The most significant mitigating factor, the judge said, was that he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, indicating "a willingness to face up to his responsibility and to take on board what he has done".
He noted the boy's genuine "sorrow, regret and remorse", and said the guilty plea shows an "appreciation of the appalling damage he has inflicted on Glen Osborne's family".
He added that in some cases expressions of remorse can be of a token nature, but "not in this case".
"It is serious and deep rooted and I think he sincerely means it," the judge said.
The judge noted from various reports that the defendant has a problem with drugs, having begun using at 12 or 13 years of age.
He also has a "very short fuse and is very prone to being angry".
He suffers, the judge said, from behavioural issues, boundary issues and anger issues which need to be addressed and are a "big concern".
He described the boy as inpetuous and said he has a deficiency in his judgment.
He also noted that he had a "chaotic lifestyle" and had difficulties within his family growing up.
Mr Justice McDermott said that given the fact the boy had struck a fatal blow with a knife, the appropriate sentence is one of life.
He added that the attack had "many of the hallmarks of immaturity and stupidity, lack of judgment and proportionality" but was not of "the most egregious or malicious" type such as a meticulously planned killing.
Therefore, he said, he could allow a review of the life sentence after 10 years.
Members of the boy's family began crying as the judge spoke.
Mr Justice McDermott said he expects the probation service to work with professionals in the system to furnish a plan for the boy's development over the coming years until his review in 2030.
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