Fifteen-year-old boy sent for trial over gun and drug seizure
A 15-year-old boy was served with a book of evidence today and sent forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for possessing a loaded semi-automatic hand gun and nearly €2,000 worth of cocaine and heroin.
Until last year, he had never been charged with an offence, but 2009 saw the north Dublin teen, who has substance abuse problems, getting arrested for two incidents deemed too serious to be dealt with in the Children's Court.
They involved alleged possession of the firearm, a 9mm calibre Beretta Parebellum semi-automatic hand gun, along with ammunition and drugs, as well as attempts to run over two gardaí with a car.
The teenage boy was before Dublin's Children's Court today facing four sets of charges. However, half his cases are to be dealt with at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has wider sentencing powers than the city's juvenile court. He is accused of possessing the gun, bullets and drugs, in his bedroom, at his north Dublin home, on January 29 last year, when he was aged 14.
Earlier, the court had been told that it was alleged “a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act was conducted at his home address.” “During this search, in his bedroom, a loaded 9mm handgun was found and €600 worth of cocaine and €1,200 worth of diamorphine (heroin),” a garda had said.
Today at the Children's Court Judge William Early noted that the book of evidence was served on the boy, who was accompanied to his case by his father.
The judge made an order formally sending the teen, who is in custody on remand, forward for trial at the present term of the Circuit Court. He also granted legal aid for the boy to be represented by both junior and senior counsel given the nature of the offence.
Judge Early also heard that the teenager is accused of reckless endangerment of the lives of two gardaí, driving a stolen car and criminal damage to two other vehicles, in north Dublin on October 8 last.
Detective Sergeant Colm Murphy, of Coolock station alleged that he had been searching the home and car of an associate of the teenager.
He alleged that the teenage defendant, was in the area driving a stolen car, and “drove at me at speed.”
“I had to take evasive action to avoid being struck, the vehicle then swerved away from me, to avoid collision with the parked vehicle belonging to an associate or friend of the accused.”
“It is also alleged that the accused swung the car directly behind that vehicle in the direction of Garda Con Kennedy who had to take evasive action to avoid being struck.”
Det-Sgt Murphy said the boy then crashed into two other cars parked in the vicinity causing substantial damages.
Judge Early held that this set of allegations was also too serious to be retained in the Children's Court and should be sent forward to the Circuit Court. The boy was remanded to appear again on a later date for another book of evidence to be served on him.
Two final sets of charges, for driving a car, without a licence and insurance, on September 26 last and for travelling as a passenger in a car, which was stolen from Dublin Airport, on November 24 last, are to remain in the Children's Court. The boy has pleaded guilty to both incidents and Judge Early sought a probation report prior to dealing with sentencing.
Defence solicitor Adrian Lennon said his client had no prior convictions and “this is his first entry into the criminal justice system.” He told Judge Early that the boy had developed substance abuse problems and submitted that a probation report on the teenager would be beneficial.
12/01/2010 - 16:02:20
January 12 2010
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