herald

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Son burned down home after row with family

A TEENAGE boy accidentally burned his home down and caused €100,000 worth of damage after a row with his family, a court has heard.

The boy, is in his mid-teens, had consumed alcohol and taken tranquillisers before he started the fire which got out of control and gutted the house.

He pleaded guilty yesterday at Dublin Children's Court to criminally damaging the property on a date last year.

Attacking

He has also been accused of attacking his mother on the same date, however, she has withdrawn her complaint and that charge may be dropped.

He no longer resides with his family and was accompanied to court yesterday by staff from his current accommodation.

Judge Ann Ryan was told the incident happened around 3am when the boy "set fire to the curtains, the house then took fire."

Garda Campbell Brennan agreed with defence solicitor John Bermingham that the boy had consumed alcohol and benzodiazepine tablets. The following day he turned up at a north Dublin garda station along with his social worker.

The garda agreed the boy, who has no prior criminal convictions, had been co-operative throughout the investigation and had not intended to burn his family home down.

As a result of the blaze, his mother put him out and he was given accommodation by the HSE where he gets assistance from youth care workers.

Garda Brennan agreed with the defence lawyer that there has been an improvement in the teen's behaviour.

Judge Ryan heard that he teenager had been diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and a behavioural disorder.

A youth worker explained to the judge that the boy is getting help in his current accommodation and the court heard that a number of agencies are providing assistance to him.

The care worker said the teen "is trying to rebuild his relationship with his family and put his life back on track again".

Judge Ryan noted that the boy, who did not address the court, seemed to be getting a lot of support. She adjourned sentencing to allow for an update welfare report on him to be furnished to the court.

The boy was remanded on continuing bail.

hnews@herald.ie

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