10 Aug 2022

Allegations of 'horrific incidents in care' against girl

16-year-old seven months pregnant appears in court

Allegations of 'horrific incidents in care' against girl

A juvenile who allegedly suffered “horrific incidents” in a care home in Limerick caused damage to a car that was bringing her back to the home after a visit to her grandmother’s as she did not want to return to care.

The girl, now aged 16 but 14 when the incident happened, appeared before last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court.

Detective Garda Conor Egan gave evidence that on November 1, 2015, the gardaí were called to attend an incident at Ballybrittas in which the youth had cut seat belts, broke off windscreen wipers and damaged mirrors on the car.

The youth was on her way back from her grandmother’s to a care home, but there was an issue in relation to two other occupants of the care home and she did not want to go back.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said his client had gone into care at the age of 12 and this incident happened when she was 14.

Judge Staines noted that the accused was pregnant. Mr Fitzgerald confirmed that she was seven months pregnant.

Judge Staines asked was there any investigation into this, as the accused was only 16. Garda Egan replied he was unaware.

Mr Fitzgerald went on to say that his client had experienced “horrific incidents” while in care.

Judge Staines asked was anyone present from the care home, and was informed that there was not.

Mr Fitzgerald said the accused was now in the care of her father and grandmother, as her mother had abandoned her.

Judge Staines was critical of the two year delay in bringing the case to court and dismissed the charge.

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