Troubled teen threatens suicide in court

A troubled 16-year-old boy repeatedly threatened during his Children’s Court case today that he would kill himself if he was remanded in custody.

During the on-going case, the horrific details of the teenager’s life have been laid bare in the court which has heard he lost his father to drugs at the age of five, later had his head stamped on by his mother’s partner and went on to repeatedly threaten suicide.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to charges for being intoxicated to such an extent he was a danger to himself and others and for engaging in threatening behaviour, at Fitzgibbon Street, in Dublin which happened in August last.

Efforts were being made by the HSE to have the boy placed in a care unit.

Funding for treatment, involving a brain scan, was also being sought by the HSE to establish if he has on-going medical problems from the injuries sustained in the assault by her mother’s ex-partner, three years ago.

But a bench warrant was issued for his arrest on October 1 last when he fled from the Dublin Children’s Courthouse, during a recess in his case.

The boy was brought back to court today following his arrest in the early hours of this morning.

Judge Bryan Smyth reminded the boy that during his last court appearance he had been agreeable to being remanded in custody with permission to attend hospital for a brain scan. Judge Smyth asked the teenager why he had left the courthouse during the break in his case. “Dunno”, replied the boy.

“Do you not think that it would have been in your interest to have all that done?” the judge asked the boy. “Yeah I know”, was the teen’s mumbled reply.

Defence solicitor Catherine Ghent said that the boy’s mother had been unable to attend the case today. The boy was claiming he could reside with a member of his extended family who would be able to come to court tomorrow to provide an address for the teenager.

The boy then spoke up and said that if he did not get bail he would take his life. “If I don’t get out of here today, I am going to kill myself,” he said. A minute later and with arms folded he said: “I swear I’m going to kill myself tonight, if I don’t get out of here.”

Judge Smyth remanded the teenager in custody and made an order for the boy to receive necessary medical attention. He also requested the attendance of representatives of the HSE at the boy’s next court appearance.

As his case concluded for the day, the teenager was led from the courtroom; he looked back and calmly said “I’m going to kill myself tonight”.

Earlier, Ms Ghent had said the boy’s problems were “deeply rooted and extremely complex”. During an earlier case in the Children’s Court when he was being prosecuted for obstructing a garda, the teen had repeatedly made threats to take his life.

He had previously been held in custody for his own welfare on foot of orders made by the Children’s Court and the High Court and last year was moved to a care unit. However that placement broke down.

He “was in out-of-hours accommodation, slept rough, he has moved back with his mother, it is a circular situation, he would hold himself together for some time then inevitably things would break down”.

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