Teen with 28 previous convictions gets three months for obstructing gardaí

A youth who obstructed gardaí and began screaming abuse when they tried to search him for drugs, has been detained for three months on his 29th criminal conviction.

The teenager had pleaded not guilty at the Children’s Court to obstructing gardai and engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour at a residential estate in Finglas in Dublin, on April 10 last.

Garda Keith Hargadon told Judge Anthony Halpin that he and a colleague spotted the 17-year-old boy at a roadside speaking with the driver of a car that had been “acting suspiciously” in the area. The car pulled off and the teenager gave the gardaí two fingers.

Gardaí told the teenager to stop and informed him they wanted to carry out a drug search. “He refused to empty his pockets and was told he could be taken to the Garda station to be searched,” Judge Halpin heard.

The teenager refused to allow the gardaí to handcuff him and began shouting obscenities and caused a disturbance. Up to 10 men came out of houses, at which gardaí called for assistance.

When taken to Finglas station the teenager, who already had conviction for firearms offences, threatened he would “get a pump action shot gun and shoot up the place”. He also threatened a garda that he would “blow his head off”.

In evidence the teenager claimed he had not been informed that he was going to be searched for drugs and denied creating a disturbance, but admitted giving the “fingers” to gardaí.

He claimed the people in the car had been his friends when questioned as to whether he had taken drink or pills he replied: “Not on that date”.

Judge Halpin found the teenager guilty. He was told the youth, who was accompanied to court by his grandmother, already had 28 previous convictions, which included threats to kill, possession of a firearm and ammunition, possessing drugs, motoring offences, public order violations and theft.

In mitigation, defence counsel Ms Mary O’Sullivan said the teenager had a large number of convictions but was not facing any new charges. He has already taken part in a training course and hoped to begin another phase of the programme next month, which could lead to a college place.

She also said that he had already completed community service and has brought about a “dramatic change in his life”.

However, Judge Halpin said the teenager’s conduct on the night of the offence was “nothing short of disgraceful”.

He imposed a three-month detention sentence on the teenager, who burst into tears.


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