Thursday, June 30, 2022


“WELL, at least she’s honest!” chuckled Judge Zaiden, after the teenage tearaway he asked to stop smoking weed told him: “I’ll cut down”.

The 16-year-old, who has been in care for the last two years because both parents are in jail, was accompanied to court by two social workers, was also complimented by Judge Zaidan for recently completing her Junior Certificate.

“How did you do?” he asked the girl in Naas District Court/

“Not too bad,” she replied.

“Well done,” said the judge.

The court heard how she was the eldest of a big family, but that all her siblings are also in care.

“She doesn’t get much contact, which is unfair for her,” said her barrister Mark Gibbons.

The girl was in court on four charges of criminal damage at the cre home on a rampage on 20 December, and for a single further incident of damage to a random car in the carpark of Cloverhill Prison.

“She was visiting her father and was upset. She just took it out on the car,” said Mr Gibbons.

With regards to the 21 December, Mr Gibbons explained: “The staff had confiscated her cannabis, and locked it in the safe. She succeeded in getting it back!”

“Threw her toys out of the pram?” asked the judge.

“Yes, judge,” said Garda Teehan.

“Seriously, what hope on earth has this girl to be a normal child?” asked the judge.

“It’s seriously depressing, but I haven’t given up hope for [her],” he said.

“I want to help you control your temper, to stop taking weed, but even for visiting your parents, it must be tough. Has she seen a counsellor?” he asked.

“Yes, judge. She has been in lock-up in Portrane [Co Dublin],” said one of the social workers.

“She hasn’t got a psychiatric illness, and it’s obvious smoking is not helping, but she’s not beyond redemption.

“I know there’s a line between boisterous and offending, but her primary teachers – her mum and dad – have hardly been examples.

“As the oldest, she has to carry the can for the rest of them.

“If you don’t help yourself, you’ll end up like your mum and dad,” he warned.

“What do you see for yourself? He asked.

“College,” she replied.

“Doing the Junior Cert is some experience,” said the judge.

He then heard that the girl had been expelled from school for smoking on the premises.

“The people who give you that are not your friends,” said the judge, before he accepted jurisdiction in the matter, and remanded her on continuing bail until 22 September.

“Any more charges, or a garda objection to bail, and you will find yourself in Oberstown [youth detention],” he warned.

“You can do it, but seriously don’t push me,” he added.

Judge was then told that she has missed to counselling appointments.

“They ask too many personal questions,” the girl complained.

“She is harbouring a lot, but there is a lot inside her soul,” said the judge.

“At some point you’re going to have to trust someone, but hopefully by 22 September you’ll have your results. And leave cannabis alone,” he asked.

“I’ll cut down,” she said, which brought the smile to the judge.

“I have faith in you, that you can do better than your parents,” he concluded.

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