Judge angry at allowing legal aid to family with visible means

Relatives of a teenage girl charged with assault on a garda as well as theft from a pensioner were snapped at by the judge when they admitted to driving a 2008 car after he had granted the girl legal aid.

The girl, who can’t be named because of her age, was attending a special sitting of the court last Friday (January 2 ) from a three month period of detention in Oberstown girls’ school to answer a charge of assaulting Garda Nicholas Keogh at her last appearance on December 16 when she had to be carried kicking and screaming to the dock.

She had been in court that day to answer a charge of larceny, committed on August 15 in Dunnes Stores in Irishtown, when she stole an elderly lady’s handbag containing €500 and a pension book.

Superintendent Aidan Glacken told the court the pension book was recovered but the €500 wasn’t.

“€500 is missing and it belongs to a pensioner and I will vindicate the rights of a pensioner first,” Judge Neilan told the young defendant.

He then wanted to know who was accompanying the girl in court and was told an aunt was with her. “She doesn’t live with her mother,” said her aunt.

When the judge asked for some identifidation she told him in a flippant manner her driving licence was in her car - an 08 Toyota.

Judge Neilan then asked his court staff if he could see the legal aid assignment for the girl’s solicitor, Ms Grainne O’Neill on account of this admission of some familial liquidity. This generated a second wave of mutterances.

“Don’t come down here and dictate to me,” fumed Judge Neilan. “I need to see that €500.”

He adjourned the case to March 4 as earlier, Ms O’Neill told the court a report on the teenager from Cabra Aftercare Services had not yet been completed. He did not strike down the legal aid assignment.

At her last appearance on December 16, the staff from Oberstown accompanying the girl were unable to give Judge David Anderson a comprehensive update on her situation because “she’s not receiving psychiatric treatment”.

“She’s only able to get a psychiatric assessment, not treatment,” said the staff member. “The psychiatric availability is going in January,” said the Oberstown professional.


Page generated in 0.1146 seconds.