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Boy jailed for Jobstown protest said dealing with Probation Service was a "load of b*ll**ks

The defendant stated he was under the influence of tablets and cannabis that day.
May 6th 2016, 6:20 AM 25,374 0

THE TEENAGER SENTENCED yesterday in connection with a protest in which acting Tánaiste Joan Burton was trapped in a car had been given numerous chances by the Children’s Court judge to avoid a custodial sentence.

But the repeat teen offender called dealing with the Probation Service a “load of bollocks” and over his last two court appearances he steadfastly refused to accept their help saying he wanted to be sentenced instead.

“He became agitated and kicked and jumped on the Garda car”

The judge had noted from a welfare report that the 16-year-old boy: “recalled he saw the Garda helicopter hovering near to where he was with friends that afternoon. He decided to see what was happening and went to the Fortunestown Road, where he saw a large crowd gathered.

“He observed the crowd shouting and pushing and that a number of people were throwing eggs. There was a large Garda presence and he quickly became wound up by the atmosphere.

He got some eggs from a shop nearby and copied the behaviour of other crowd members, pushing, shouting and throwing eggs. He became agitated and kicked and jumped on the Garda car, damaging the window. The defendant stated he was under the influence of tablets and cannabis that day.

The court had heard he “understands that the people trapped in the car would have been afraid as there was a lot of aggression and shouting at them”.

He further stated that the gardaí were surrounding the car and that it would have been very stressful for them to be in the middle of a large crowd, where things were thrown at them.

However, he is also of the view that it “is the gardaí’s job to be in such situations.”.

The judge said that violent disorder is an aggressive form of bullying involving three or more people.

He went on to say that among teens violence is often linked to drugs, poverty, inadequate education, lack of fewer perceived opportunities, poor attachment to family and school and lack of supports generally.

“Apart from the offer of supports, the defendant sadly fits all too neatly into this category,” he had said.

Previous convictions

He said the boy had a significant number of previous convictions and knew full well that the Jobstown protest incidents were an attempt to humiliate and cause fear.

He said the teenager knew full well that one of the occupants of the car was the Tánaiste however, he accepted that the boy got “caught up in the events of the violence, that the events of the day created its own momentum for him that he was not the ring leader and that his own particular circumstances made him a soft target to get caught up in the violence.”

The court heard that the boy has not had regular contact with his father in some time.

His mother had believed her son was always energetic but following the break-up of his parents’ relationship, he became problematic and difficult to manage; he was described in reports as “controlling and abusive towards his mother if doesn’t get his own way”.

She was unable to cope with him and he accessed emergency hostel accommodation before a grandparent took him in and looked after him despite the teenager’s defiant attitude and rule breaking.

Judge O’Connor had said earlier that international practices and Irish law state that detention of juveniles must be used as a last resort and must promote rehabilitation and re-integration in to the community.

Comments are closed as cases related to the incident remain before the courts

Read: A 16-year-old boy has been jailed for six months for his part in the Jobstown protest

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Tom Tuite

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