Youth asked to be jailed to complete Leaving Cert

Thursday 24 January 2013 17.17
Youth asked to be detained in order to do Leaving Cert
Youth asked to be detained in order to do Leaving Cert

A 16-year-old Dublin boy who asked to be jailed so he could do the Leaving Certificate had his wish granted when he was detained by a judge for 16 months.

The teenager, who had previously asked to be in custody, was given a suspended six-month sentence at Dublin Children's Court last November on a charge of handling a stolen mobile phone.

Judge Aingeal Ní Chonduin heard at the city's juvenile court 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.

In the early hours of 24 December last, during a breach of the peace, he verbally abused a garda who was assisting colleagues on a patrol in north Dublin.

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

Judge Ní Chonduin heard that on 3 January, he stole a bottle of aftershave from a city centre shop.

The boy also pleaded guilty to two earlier offences: on 24 October last, he stole deodorant spray cans from a shop and four days before that he stole an bottle of spirits.

Defence solicitor Brendan Aherne told Judge Ní Chonduin that 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.

Judge Ní Chonduin, who was furnished with a welfare report on the boy, said he needed a "structured environment".

The teenager on being told that the suspended six-month sentence was being activated spoke up to tell the court he needed a longer period in custody. "I will not be able to do my Leaving Cert, it is a two year course".

Judge Ní 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 then hugged his mother, before he left the courtroom.