‘Drugs cause of 90% of problems in children’s court’

Most problems in cases at the Dublin Children’s Court are caused by drugs, particularly cannabis, a judge has said.

Judge John O’Connor made the statement during the sentence hearing of a 16-year-old youth.

The first-time offender pleaded guilty to possessing €200 worth of cannabis herb for the purpose of sale or supply at a location near his north-inner city Dublin home in April last year.

The Children’s Court heard the boy had built up a drug debt he needed to repay. The judge, who was furnished with a pre-sentence probation report, said. “90% of the problems I have in this court are caused by drugs and cannabis is number one in relation to it.”

He also noted from defence solicitor Michelle Finan that the boy does not want to let his mother down and “he has put a lot of work into this”.

He also noted the youth had done all that had been required of him while he was supervised by the Probation Service. He said he was giving him a chance and marked the facts proved but struck out the case, sparing the youth not only a possible sentence but also a criminal record.


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