A sixteen-year-old who forced his parents to flee their house and ran towards a Garda with a kitchen knife in each hand was sentenced to nine months detention for a series of offences and a district court judge said he is showing all the signs of someone ‘scrambling with [the effects of] cannabis’.
The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, was sentenced to a total of one year’s detention but the final three months were suspended on the basis that that period be spent under supervision.
Inspector Joe McKenna told the court that on May 9 last at 5.50pm, the youth’s parents contacted Gardaí and said they had to leave the house after the youth became verbally abusive.
Garda John Fleming drove to the house but, upon entering the drive, the youth ran towards him with a kitchen knife in each hand and, initially, refused to stop, the court heard. Eventually Garda Fleming talked him down and he was brought to the Garda Station.
After reading the Probation Report prepared on the youth, his solicitor James Warde admitted that it didn’t read well but that his client was willing to engage with the Probation Services and he had the support of his parents, who were both in court.
However Judge Mary Devins didn’t agree. During a separate case involving the youth that day, in which he was convicted only of technical assault, Judge Devins had opined that he was barely fit to give evidence, saying he was ‘so strung out on cannabis its unbelievable’. The youth said he was off the drug.
Before passing sentence, she said the youth was ‘destroying himself’ with cannabis, which wasn’t a meaningless drug, she added. She continued that she had seen too many people over the last decade showing the signs of cannabis use that made it easier for her to recognise the symptoms.
“You are showing all the neurological signs. You are feeding yourself poison. You have very good parents, come from a good home but have chosen to ignore that,” added Judge Devins.
The youth received a total of 12 months detention for assault, unlawful theft, criminal damage and the possession of the knives. A number of other charges were taken into consideration.