A teenage girl who demanded she be sent to prison but declined any psychiatric intervention, received the best of both in the District Court this week (November 14 ).
Nikita Ring (19 ), with an address at River Street, Clara, Co Offaly, but whose family is from Athlone, was in court charged with stealing a car and crashing it into a roundabout earlier this month.
She is due to return to court next Wednesday for her part in an alleged gang assault on a female garda on February 4 which resulted in the garda being off work for over three months.
In court this week, her solicitor Mr Tony McLynn explained how Ring wanted to be sent to prison that day because she had fallen in with a “wrong crowd” and was dabbling in heroin.
Judge Seamus Hughes remarked how this curious request “has happened a lot over the last couple of months”, and put her in the witness box to explain herself.
“I’ve a lot on my mind,” said Ring.
Mr McLynn pointed out that her father died whilst she was an infant, and though “her mother tried her best, there’s been State intervention throughout”.
Judge Hughes wondered why Ring had not sought any respite in a psychiatric hospital “for a week’s rest?”
“They might send me out loopy,” was the response.
“She is in need of help, but I don’t think prison would help,” said Judge Hughes, before suggesting bail under curfew.
“I tried that before and it didn’t work,” said Ring.
“If you try and fail, you try again,” suggested the judge.
“Would you ever try to dust yourself off and make a right decision? Get this man out of your life” said Judge Hughes, referring to her boyfriend, who is believed to have introduced her to heroin, and been involved in the car theft.
He then asked what the difference was between Ring and the friends who had accompanied her to court.
“They can make proper decisions,” he pointed out.
“This is a very sad situation, a terrible predicament. This girl is on the edge of a cliff, and is particularly vulnerable,” said the judge.
He remanded Ring in custody for a week for an updated probation reporrt, as well as psychological and psychiatric assessments.
“I don’t want to be looked at,” said the defendant.
“I won’t keep you in prison, but I do want you to get a rest,” added the judge.
“That won’t help me,” snapped Ring.
“That’s the best I can do for you today,” concluded the judge, remanding her to the Dóchas womens unit at Mountjoy until November 21.