A TEENAGER who secured bail days before Christmas with strict warnings to adhere to terms but ended up back in custody three weeks later, has told a judge he doesn’t like prison, during a video-link at East Tyrone Magistrates Court.
Described as facing “a plethora of offences”, the youth who is about to turn 18 but can’t be named as yet for legal reasons, spoke out during a bail hearing, telling the judge he was prepared to change if released.
However a police officer objected to bail stating, “The defendant is somewhat out of control. Since last August he has been on a spree.”
The officer explained the youth is to be interviewed in relation to thefts from shops, burglaries, attempted burglary and drugs possession, although he has not been charged in relation to these.
Having managed to secure bail on December 23, in relation to an assault charge, the youth is alleged to be involved in a further two suspected thefts on December 29 and 31.
On being spoken to in respect of these matters it was established a bail breach had occurred involving entry of licensed premises.
He was arrested but released on bail again on January 2, only to be detained on January 17 on suspicion of stealing a charity box and in breach of a curfew.
Along with the list of offences, some of which are awaiting sentencing, police were opposed to the bail address put forward as the alleged victim in the assault case – the accused’s mother – also resides there.
The officer said, “We would question the suitability of the bail address given the domestic history between the defendant and his mother”.
However he accepted whilst the mother had initially been unsure of having her son back to reside at home, she had contacted the officer just prior to the court appearance to confirm she would.
A defence barrister told the court, “It is accepted there is a plethora of offences but we can’t get away from the lack of a previous record. Some of the matters put forward are alleged and not proven.”
Deputy District Judge Peter Magill remarked, “Neither can we get away from the fact your client is awaiting sentencing for assault and other matters.”
At this point the youth who had been indicating he wished to speak, addressed the judge saying, “Your honour I’ve been in here a week now and I don’t like it. I am willing to change if you’ll grant me bail.”
Judge Magill said, “I’m sure you don’t like it. Your problem is the address.”
The defence added, “I remind the court my client is of a very young age and there are tools within the armoury to ensure bail is compiled with, including a curfew.”
But Judge Magill dismissed this pointing out the curfew has been breached.
He added, “It’s always extremely difficult dealing with a young person. I don’t consider the address with his mother as suitable. With his history I cannot be sure there will be no further offending. I am not satisfied the defendant is a suitable candidate for bail.”
The application was rejected and Judge Magill remanded the youth in custody until next month.