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Teen asks to be locked up to do Leaving Cert in jail

A 16-YEAR-OLD Dublin boy who wanted to be locked up so he could do the Leaving Certificate had his wish granted yesterday when he was detained by a judge for 16 months.

THE teenager had been given a suspended six-month sentence at the Dublin Children's Court last November on a charge of handling a stolen mobile phone.

Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin heard at the city's juvenile court yesterday that he had continued to commit petty thefts, a breach of the peace and had been caught carrying bolt cutters for use in a theft.

On November 27, four days after the suspended sentence, he was spotted in Dublin city centre 'checking out' bicycle stands. When searched, he had bolt cutters in his back pack.

In the early hours of Christmas Eve, he verbally abused a garda in north Dublin, telling him "to f*** off and get the f*** away from him" and was arrested.

On January 3, he stole a bottle of aftershave from a city centre shop.

The teen was described by Judge Ni Chonduin yesterday as "16 going on 26".

Defence solicitor Brendan Aherne said the boy wanted his case to be finalised. "He intends to do the Leaving Certificate and is looking to have a sentence imposed to enable him to do that," the lawyer said.

On being told that the suspended six-month sentence was being activated, the teen said he needed a longer period in custody: "I will not be able to do my Leaving Cert; it is a two-year course".

Judge Ni Chonduin then imposed a consecutive 10-month term for his other offences, meaning he will be detained for a year and four months.

"I hope you do well," she told the boy, who hugged his mother before leaving the courtroom.

His mother had said in court that she planned to move house and leave the city in a bid to prevent her children from getting into more trouble.

Her other teenage son, who faces public order charges, is in custody on remand.