A 16-year-old appearing before the Children’s Court in Cork was sentenced to a period in detention at Oberstown as the judge said he needed to be “kept safe from himself.”
The teenager has been before the juvenile court on various probation bonds over a prolonged period but now Judge Colm Roberts said the teenager had made promises which he had not kept.
Most significantly, Judge Colm Roberts said the concern of everyone dealing with the case – including gardaí, probation service, social workers, HSE, defence solicitor, the Child and Family Agency, and the judge – was that the teenager was putting himself in danger.
He sentenced the teenager to three months in Oberstown detention centre and imposed a three-month probation bond on his release.
The judge also directed that the authorities in Oberstown would facilitate the defendant’s attendance at a drug treatment centre.
The probation service re-entered the case today because the teenager had not kept a curfew at a residential centre for teenagers.
After previously struggling with a 9 p.m. curfew this was extended to 11 p.m. but the evidence from during the past week was that he was not getting back in time for that later curfew and was staying out with friends.
He was also taking cocaine and cannabis and was admitting now that drugs were a problem for him that he could not address.
Judge Roberts said,
Defence solicitor, Eddie Burke, said, “He is not a bad person.” Judge Roberts agreed and added, “He needs help from himself almost at this stage.”
Imposing a three-month sentence of detention Judge Roberts said, “I want to give this guy the best break. I want him to do the minimum for his own protection. I need to keep him safe for the time being.”
Inspector Martin Canny said the offences on which he was sentenced were committed when the juvenile was aged 13/14. He stole a wallet from a jacket belonging to a staff member 17, 2018. He committed an almost identical offence at a community centre in Cork on July 13 2019.
Acknowledging that the young man had not kept some of the conditions which he had undertaken to keep as part of his probation bond, Mr Burke said that in fairness to the accused he had not been picking up new charges.
The defendant cannot be identified as he is a juvenile.