Teen took drugs before attacking care home worker who tried to stop him assaulting his pregnant girlfriend, court hears

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A Dublin teenager took 40 benzodiazepines before attacking a care home worker who tried to stop him from assaulting his pregnant girlfriend.

The 18-year-old, who had previously lived in the care facility for juveniles, pleaded guilty to the assault that happened on Thursday.

He appeared before Judge Dermot Dempsey at the weekend sitting of Dublin District Court.

Garda Fergus Burke objected to bail. He said the young man’s partner lived in a care centre in the city’s north side. The youth “climbed a perimeter fence and started banging on the main door”.

“Staff tried to speak to him through a glass door, requested him to calm down. He previously resided there and refused to calm down.

“He climbed through an open window into his partner’s room,” Gda Burke said.

The defendant chased her from the room to the stairs and attacked her.

“A staff member attempted to stop the assault and in doing so received a punch with clenched fist,” Gda Burke said.

The court heard he grazed her with a “thump on the head”, but she did not require hospitalisation.

Staff opened the centre’s door to let him go at the end of the incident which was captured on CCTV.

The teen’s partner declined to make a statement because “she would be aligned to him”.

Defence solicitor Aonghus McCarthy told the court the youth did not dispute the facts.

The young man had 41 prior criminal convictions, including burglaries, thefts and assault.

Gda Burke agreed he expressed remorse afterwards. “He did admit he took 30 to 40 benzodiazepines which is quite a large amount”, he said, adding “yes, a dangerous amount”.

The judge heard the youth’s mother had dropped him off at the care home to retrieve his phone and social welfare card.

Mr McCarthy told the court his client was aged 12 when he began taking drugs, was homeless two years later and then in the care of the State.

The solicitor said the teenager had an “exceptionally difficult upbringing in terms of exposure to violence”, and the youth took drugs to escape the trauma.

He moved “from shed to shed” to have a place over his head. Mr McCarthy asked the judge to transfer the youth into the Drug Treatment Court (DTC) programme to deal with his addiction.

Pleading for bail, he also submitted that his client could be among the youngest prisoners in Cloverhill Prison.

The solicitor submitted others would view him as having graduated from the Oberstown youth detention centre.

“He will get a pat on the back and made feel like one of the boys on D-wing,” Mr McCarthy suggested.

The youth did not address the court.

Refusing bail and the application to transfer him to the DTC, Judge Dempsey remanded the teenager in custody to appear again next week.

He noted the guilty plea to the assault charge, but gardaí needed directions from the Director of Public Prosecution for the connected burglary charge.

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan’s exclusive take on the day’s news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

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