Boy, 15, facing spate of charges ‘on a very tight leash’, Judge warns

January 6, 2021

A DONEGAL youth awaiting sentencing for a number of offences has been warned that he is ‘on a very tight leash’.

A judge has directed that Tusla be involved in the case of the 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after a series of missed appointments with the probation service.

Gardaii are awaiting direction from the Director of Prosecution on some charges while others are awaiting clarification form the juvenile office.

Among the charges facing the boy include a spate of burglaries in Letterkenny in September at HD Beauty Rooms, Lower Main Street, International Hair Styles, Oliver Plunkett Road, Letterkenny and Cooney’s Home & Garden, Letterkenny.

The youth, who was in custody at Oberstown Children’s Detention Campus for a period in 2020, was accompanied by his mother to Letterkenny District Court.

The court heard that the boy missed three probation meetings in December and a probation officer spotted him in Letterkenny.

Judge Paul Kelly said: “Three appointments were missed and the probation service were unable to get in touch. No contact was made in advance. That’s not good enough.”

The boy told the court that he was ‘sick all over Christmas’, but Judge Kelly said: “You weren’t sick enough to be unable to be in Letterkenny at 9am on December 22.

“You would want to watch yourself. You are on a very tight leash. The reason you were granted bail was on the basis of co-operation. There is every likelihood that bail will be revoked if you don’t improve on your performance.”

Judge Kelly told the boy’s mother: “You’re in the frame for this yourself.”

The judge directed that Tusla allocate a social worker to the family and asked that a representative from the agency be present in court on the next occasion.

The matter was adjourned to February 1 and Judge Kelly warned the boy and his mother: “You will need to engage comprehensively and fully.”