Teenager’s bail revoked in minutes over threatening witness

A teenager had his bail revoked minutes for making threats to kill witness in his trial minutes after he was released.
Teenager’s bail revoked in minutes over threatening witness

A teenager had his bail revoked minutes for making threats to kill witness in his trial minutes after he was released.

The Dublin Children’s Court heard the threats were made 10 minutes after a bail hearing in which the 16-year-old boy’s solicitor had said the juvenile justice was mopping up failings in mental health services.

The boy, who is from the midlands, is not allowed return home after coming to notice of garda and social services for the first time over the past month.

The boy is accused of criminal damage and unlawfully getting into a car on Dublin’s North Circular Road, on May 5, and criminal damage to a woman’s house in the same area.

Strict bail was granted by Judge Brendan Toale but as a result of the threat it was revoked minutes later.

He was remanded in custody to the Oberstown Detention Centre to appear again next week. The teenager, who has been living in a hostel in Dublin, had earlier faced a garda application to revoke bail on the grounds he had been repeatedly spotted in areas from which he had been barred by the court, Dublin 1 and the North Circular Road.

He had also broke a curfew order to be in hostel in the south inner city from 11pm to 6am every day.

The boy also allegedly rang his mother demanding to be allowed go home or else he would attack the household of witnesses in relation to his offences at the North Circular Road.

Detective Garda Ken Hoare said the teen told his mother he would inflict harm on someone and that he would smash windows at the house of the witness, “and pull them out of the house”.

Pleading for bail defence solicitor Niamh Kelly said the teenager had no phone and did not know the city well.

The current lockdown was not a normal situation and there were no activities to keep the teenager busy and from wandering into parts of the city he was not familiar with, she said.

She said the teenager, “has been let down mental health services and now finds himself in the criminal justice system”.

She said the criminal justice system was “mopping up” the failings of the mental health services.

Arthur Dennehy, solicitor for Tusla, said the boy’s social workers were working hard on the case, and, “there is huge concern for his psychological and mental welfare”.

The teen had only come to notice in recent weeks and a strategy meeting will be held next week.

A forensic psychological assessment of the teenager has been recommended by a psychiatrist, he said.

Granting bail, Judge Toale told him the conditions remained and that he could not cross the Liffey, into the north of the city, except for court appearances. The teenager was then released on bail to appear again next week.

Minutes later, however, Det Hoare had the teenager brought back before the judge.

He said immediately after the bail hearing concluded he saw the boy while still at the courthouse making threats to go to the witness’s home “and kill everyone there” if his mother did not take him home.

The teen claimed in court he made a threat against someone else in the midlands, out of anger. He said “it was all talk” and he had no intention of carrying it out.

Judge Toale accepted the detective sergeant’s evidence of possible interference with witnesses.

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