Teenager told he is on his very last chance by District Judge


A District Judge sitting at Londonderry Magistrates Court has warned a 17-year-old youth from the city that he is on his “very last chance”.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age, appeared before the Magistrates Court last week, accused of theft.

The Magistrates Court was told he was charged with stealing a Samsung phone worth £150 from a the O2 store in the Foyleside Shopping Centre.

Judge Ann Marshall was told that the offence was alleged to have occurred while the teenager was out of custody, having been grated bail in connection with previous theft offences relating to items alleged to have been taken from JD Sports in May earlier this year.

Outlining the case against the youth, the Prosecution told the court that the teenage accused had an extensive police record. They also said that the teenager had proved unreliable as he had failed to turn up for his last scheduled appearance in court.

District Judge Marshall commented: “He could go into the city centre to steal but couldn’t manage to make it to court.”

The court was further told that, as part of his bail conditions, the youth had also been barred from being with a certain 18-year old woman who had accused him of being guilty of behaviour which constituted domestic violence.

The court was told the 17-year-old had been seen spotted by police walking through the city centre with the 18-year-old woman on August 11, and it was at this point that he had been arrested.

During the court hearing the teenager began crying and continued to cry throughout his appearance and as the arresting officer informed Judge Marshall of her objections to offering bail to him again due to his behaviour.

The officer stress to the court that the youth had repeatedly breached his bail conditions in the past.

She also outlined how he had gone on to commit further offences despite having being given several chances by the other District Judge, Barney McElholm, who had heard the case.

The youth’s solicitor, Mr Keith Kyle, asked if the court would consider barring his client from the city centre as that was the place where he had committed most of the offences.

“You will get bail by the very thinnest of margins,” said Judge Marshall.

“You are holding on by your very finger tips.

“If you were four months older the situation would be very different and you would be going straight to Hydebank.

“Bail is set at £100 but I also want a £500 surety from your parents.

“If they can’t control you they can lose their money,” added the judge.

The teenager was also placed under curfew from 9pm to 8am.