herald

Friday 20 October 2017

Neighbours in 'threat to cut off boy's head'

A 15-YEAR-OLD Dublin boy has been left with nowhere to live after members of his community allegedly threatened to shoot or decapitate him because of his criminal activities.

His anti-social behaviour has plunged his family life into turmoil, and due to the shortage of spaces in juvenile detention centres, a judge was also unable to remand him custody yesterday.

Dublin Children's Court heard that the boy, who has developed a drug addiction, has been blamed for stealing by angry neighbours who have said he must not return to their area.

The teenager has separate charges for criminal damage to a car and possessing a knife as well as a wooden pole as weapons during an incident at the home of extended family members in August.

The boy's mother wept and told Judge O'Connor that her son had also injured himself on Monday and had to get 13 staples to a head wound.

"Every neighbour is blaming him for robbing from their house. I don't know what will happen," she said.

She told the court that it would be impossible for the youth to come home with her.

Blamed

The teen cried as his mother described how he has been blamed for stealing from a local family who want their property back.

"These people are not people to mess with," she said.

She said she was afraid for her own safety and that of her other children.

His grandmother told the court that she loved her grandson but also said she could not have him in her home any more. Locals want her evicted because of the boy's activities, Judge O'Connor was told.

Her voice trembled as she said she had been told the boy "was going to be shot" and "going to be decapitated" if he returned to the area.

The boy, who was also in tears, interrupted saying: "I will not be shot, let them try to shoot me, I'll sort them out."

He agreed with defence solicitor Michelle Finan that his family loved him and wanted the best for him; he also said he needed to go to counselling, "to see people to help my head".

The judge said the testimony was "as moving as I have heard".

He said that regrettably due to a shortage of juvenile places he was unable to remand him in custody. He granted bail and ordered the boy to remain with his mother at all times.

The case resumes today.

hnews@herald.ie

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