A Westport Garda chief has warned that a 14-year-old Westport youth could come to a ‘bad end’ if he is released from custody because of the company he keeps.
Superintendent Mick Murray made the comments at Westport Court where the youth, who is accused of stabbing another youth three times, appeared for breaking his bail conditions in relation to that charge.
The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, is charged with Section 3 Assault (assault causing harm) to another male at Church Lane, Westport on June 23 last.
At the holiday sitting of Castlebar District Court on August 24 last, the youth was remanded on bail subject to a number of conditions, including signing on daily at Westport Garda Station. Superintendent Murray indicated at the time that there was a concern over the youth going missing, as there had been nine missing person reports filed on him in the past. Judge Conal Gibbons said bail conditions would cover this.
However the youth came to Westport court last week in custody after breaching the signing-on condition when he left Westport for four days before being picked up by his mother in Galway. He had been detained at the Obertstown Children’s Detention School since then and Supt Murray requested that he be kept there until the case appeared before Westport Children’s Court on October 13 for reasons of his safety.
“I’m concerned for the child,” Supt Murray told the court. “He’s hanging around with bad people and I think he will come to a bad end if this continues. He will get hurt.”
He added that the youth was, reluctantly, taken in by his mother on the day of the holiday court but within 24 hours, foster care was sought for the youth and that he was ‘very reluctant’ to see the youth going into such a situation again.
Linda Lenihan, defending solicitor, applied for bail as she said her client had received a ‘swift, sharp, shock’ after he was sent to Obertstown for breaching his bail conditions. He was, she said, now fully aware of the consequences of breaching his condition and that his mother was agreeable to bail. He had, she added, been very upset by his time in detention.
Judge Mary Devins said that the situation was ‘too volatile’ to grant bail and remanded the youth in custody in Obertstown before appearing at Westport Children’s Court on October 13. She also requested the commencement of psychiatric, psychological, educational and behavioural reports at the facility.