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Garda alert as homicidal teenage girl is released

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Gardaí have been aware of the likelihood of her release for some time. Tusla alerted the garda public protection unit about the teenager as far back as November of last year

Gardaí have been aware of the likelihood of her release for some time. Tusla alerted the garda public protection unit about the teenager as far back as November of last year

Gardaí have been aware of the likelihood of her release for some time. Tusla alerted the garda public protection unit about the teenager as far back as November of last year

Gardai have issued a nationwide bulletin about a homicidal teenager who is due to be released into the community today.

The 18-year-old, who cannot be identified, suffers from a personality disorder and has repeatedly expressed a wish to rape and murder.

However, she is being released from a secure unit for children after the High Court ruled earlier this week there was no legal basis to continue her detention.

Gardaí have been aware of the likelihood of her release for some time. Tusla alerted the garda public protection unit about the teenager as far back as November of last year.

Vigilant

Officers monitoring her case issued a bulletin to garda stations around the country last week containing a description, photograph and background information of the teenager.

It said it was unclear where the teenager would end up following her discharge. It warned gardaí to be vigilant, stating she was a danger to the public.

A court order prohibits the identification of the unit she is being released from and the reporting of certain aspects of her case.

The High Court has heard the teenager is considered a grave risk to women and has threatened to kill her mother on a number of occasions.

Her mother recently fled her home and moved a different part of the country after receiving safety advice from gardaí.

Last week, the court directed that gardaí be given a transcript of a conversation the teenager had with her guardian ad litem and a Tusla aftercare manager in which she described a plan to identify her mother's address, gain entry, and kill her.

The court also directed that a document summarising the views of psychiatrists be given to gardaí.

The teenager is currently on bail, facing charges of sexually assaulting two women and of threatening to kill or cause serious harm to a third.

She has previously been in and out of court on charges of assault and criminal damage.

Efforts by Tusla to resolve the 18-year-old's future have been the subject of several High Court hearings over the past year. The case has highlighted significant gaps in Irish mental health legislation.

Her particular disorder does not qualify her for detention under the Mental Health Act.

Psychiatric assessments conducted last year suggested she met the criteria to be declared a ward of court, which would have allowed her to be detained and receive treatment in a secure facility abroad.

However, a wardship petition brought by Tusla had to be abandoned earlier this month after more recent assessments found she had capacity to make decisions.

The High Court heard she endured a traumatic childhood and has been in the care of the State for many years.