Boy, 15, under influence of ‘Fagan character’ gets detention

April 15, 2021

A 15-year-old boy who was persuaded to carry out a litany of thefts and burglaries by a Fagan character has been sentenced to six months detention.

The boy appeared by videolink at Letterkenny District Court to face the charges.

They include using a stolen credit card to buy cinema tickets, a theft at a physiotherapist, stealing a mobile phone, damaging CCTV cameras and being drunk and disorderly.

The boy, who pleaded guilty, is currently in Obertsown Juvenile Detention Centre where he has been since January 6th of this year.

The incidents happened at various locations including Century Cinemas in Letterkenny, Donegal Physio in Letterkenny and Fabia’s Apartments in Letterkenny.

Solicitor Mr Rory O’Brien said the boy’s father had died when he was very young and that his mother had stood by him.

He added that not all but many of the offences were carried out under the influence of men in their 30s in a ‘Fagan-like’ situation during which he was preyed upon.

He said these were carried out by a trade-off for alcohol despite the best efforts of his mother to keep the boy away from the older men.

Mr O’Brien said he now found himself as a “country boy” in Oberstown House with many other boys from the city and this had not been a pleasant experience for him.

He added that he doubted if the boy had a future in his hometown of Letterkenny and that this was a sentence in itself.

Judge Paul Kelly said he had dealt with the boy for the past two years and watched him grow into a very fine young man from the small boy who had first come before him.

“But he needs to address his behaviour,” he said.

However, he added that the various services and the courts have “bent over backwards” trying to assist the boy and “giving him an alternative pathway in life.”

He noted the boy had also failed to attend a number of appointments with the Probation Services and that the overall efforts of all services had “proved fruitless.”

Judge Kelly sentenced the boy on all the charges to a total of six months detention but backdated the sentence to January 6th when the boy went into detention.

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