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Saturday 19 August 2017

Boy caught with drugs rejects chance to avoid record

A 17-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing €940 of cocaine uncovered by gardai at his home in Ballymun, north Dublin, in January last year (stock photo)
A 17-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing €940 of cocaine uncovered by gardai at his home in Ballymun, north Dublin, in January last year (stock photo)

A Dublin youth caught dealing cocaine has turned down the chance to be spared a criminal record.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing €940 of cocaine at his home in Ballymun, north Dublin, on a date in January last year.

Garda Garvan Lennon obtained a warrant to search the teen's home after he received a tip-off, Judge John O'Connor heard.

The cocaine was seized along with €380 in cash, as well as 350 tablets, which were not illegal substances.

The cocaine was in two bags and the tablets were bagged for sale or supply, the court was told. The cash was in multiple denominations.

The boy's phone was seized and examined.

Gda Lennon said there was "phone traffic in relation to drug dealing".

The boy, then aged 16, was arrested. He claimed the drugs were for his own use, even though they were bagged.

Serious

The court heard that he had no prior criminal convictions and does not have other charges pending. The judge said the teen was "dealing extensively" and the charges were serious.

Defence solicitor Brian Keenan told the court that the teenager has not continued to come to the attention of gardai.

The teen's worried mother sat close to her son and the judge told her that the youth could be suitable for taking part in a restorative justice scheme, which could see him spared both a sentence and a criminal record.

Addressing the boy, he told him a conviction would "leave you ruined for life" and damage his chances of employment or the chance to go to a number of countries.

However, the youth did not want to take the opportunity.

The judge told him that the options the court was left with were 10 community sanctions and a custodial sentence.

He adjourned the case to a later date for a pre-sentence probation report to be given to the court.

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