Judge tells teen drug dealer: Plant flowers or risk jail

Judge tells teen drug dealer: Plant flowers or risk jail

A young offender, who was caught with €675 worth of cocaine, has been told he must spend the next six months planting flowers if he wants to avoid a sentence.

The 16-year-old boy had pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply to another.

He was caught with the drugs at Sundrive Road, in south Dublin, on July 18 last.

The teenager had five prior criminal convictions and received a suspended sentence last November for an assault.

Judge John O'Connor had noted that the boy had not come to Garda attention since he was caught with the cocaine and he had sought a probation report on the teen's suitability to take part in a restorative justice programme.

Today, defence counsel Aoife McNickle told Judge O'Connor that the report was positive and the teenager has been doing well in recent months.

Judge O'Connor noted that the teenager was found suited to taking part in six-month crime diversion plan which is to be supervised by the Probation Service.

In this case it will involve restorative justice activities in the community, making flowers boxes, and he must also write a letter of apology.

Judge O'Connor told the teenager, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, that he faced very a serious charge and that he has a lot of work to do with “flowers to be grown and a programme to be completed".

The boy was remanded on bail to appear again in November for a progress report on his participation in the plan. If he completes the tasks set to him he could be spared a criminal conviction and a sentence for his offence.

Earlier the judge had told the teenager that the measures taken by the court “gives you a chance to face up to what you have done”.

“If you do not cooperate, I will have to impose a sentence which could be a custodial sentence,” he had also warned.


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