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Teen stole Merc after bolting from treatment centre

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A TEENAGER who had been left at an addiction treatment centre in Knock subsequently bolted and stole a Mercedes jeep. His parents had left him there to deal with his drug problems.
Mark Stewart (18), of no fixed abode but originally from Kildare, appeared before Castlebar District Court last week charged with the unauthorised taking of a vehicle from a yard in Ballyhaunis on November 4, 2017.
The court heard that Mr Stewart had enrolled in a centre for drug treatment in Knock but left soon after arriving. He subsequently stole a Mercedes jeep from Ballyhaunis. When asked by Judge Mary Devins if the key had been in the ignition, Mr Stewart replied that it ‘was indeed’.
Inspector Tom Calvey said the defendant abandoned the vehicle when it left the road and became stuck, adding that no damage had been caused.
Mr Stewart was also charged with the the theft of an iPad from the vehicle. The tablet was recovered when Mr Stewart was arrested.
After he was arrested and charged, Mr Stewart appeared before a special sitting of the district court on November 5 and had been in custody since that date.
Mr Thomas Walsh, solicitor for the defendant, said the crime was opportunistic, and it was sad, as his client had no one to rely on, as his parent’s did not want anything to do with him.
He explained that after completing his Leaving Cert, Mr Stewart had gone to Carlow to study. While there, he had become involved in drugs and gone ‘off the rails’.
Mr Walsh said his client wants to get his relationship with his parents back on track, and that prison had been a ‘chastening experience’ for him.
Judge Devins noted that Mr Stewart looked to be ‘very happy’, and she asked him if he had taken cannabis while in custody.
Mr Stewart replied, ‘Unfortunately not’, before quickly adding, ‘only messing’.
Judge Devins sentenced Mr Stewart to a total of 14 days’ imprisonment, but backdated the sentence to November 5.

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