Drug counselling ordered for 16-year-old

A 16-year-old, who has learning problems and an IQ level of 57, was released on probation today for a spate of crimes on condition that he obtained drug addiction counselling and psychiatric treatment.

The boy has pleaded guilty at the Children’s Court to 30 charges which included motor theft, criminal damage, assault, theft, possessing drugs for sale or supply, threats to cause criminal damage and trespassing.

Defence solicitor Sarah Molloy told Judge Bryan Smyth that earlier, when the boy had been remanded in custody for a spell, there had been difficulties in him receiving help. However, he was now receiving psychiatric assistance.

Judge Bryan Smyth imposed a nine-month probation bond with a number of conditions. The teenager was warned that he would have to continue to work with his probation officer to address his offending, continue attending psychiatric services, drug misuse counselling and attend a training course.

He told the teenager, who was accompanied by his mother, that if he breached these terms, the case would be brought back to court.

“What does that mean? Sentenced?” the teen asked. “Yes” replied the judge.

The boy had been subject to a number of bail conditions, including one forbidding him from leaving his home unless he was in the company of an adult family member.

Earlier in the case, defence solicitor Sarah Molloy had said the boy has “an IQ of about 57 which puts him at an exceptionally low level of cognitive ability”.

His level of comprehension had led to problems for those attempting to help him address his offending behaviour.

“It leaves a large amount of difficulties for him and also for any service working with him. That was one of the difficulties the Probation Service in particular found,” Ms Molloy had said.

The court had heard that, on April 4 last, the boy was found in possession of 484 sleeping tablets. In another incident he stole a box full of CDs worth €500 from a woman whom he had been helping to move house.

He then assaulted a man, jumped on his car and threatened to smash windows in his house and “burn out his car.”

He has also been found guilty handling a stolen satellite navigation unit and mobile phone, contrary to the Theft and Fraud Offences, in Finglas, and driving without a licence or insurance in Finglas in September last year.

Ms Molloy had said the incidents took place when he was “intoxicated, on tablets which he bought on the street”.


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