A Mullingar teenager will be thrown a lifeline by the court which is extremely concerned about his future.
Shane Bauer (18 ), Belvedere Hills faces public order charges, but Judge Hughes insisted at Mullingar District Court that his greatest concern is that the teenager gets well.
The court will do everything in its power to help, he told Bauer and his father Harry.
“The court is here to help you, and you,” he told the men, pointing out that the teenager, who was disheveled and sleepy “presents worse than any other boy I’ve seen”.
Bauer failed to appear in court early in the morning and Garda Lindsay Quinlan gave evidence in his absence, saying that when she’d been called to the family home at Belvedere Hills on November 3 last year, the young man’s father was concerned about him.
He had taken codeine and a bottle of gin, Garda Quinlan said, adding that he became extremely aggressive when he left the house with her.
He spat at her and called her a dirty bitch, and continued to spit at gardaí as she drove him to the Garda station after he was arrested outside the house for his abusive behaviour.
But Garda Quinlan expressed serious concern for the young man, fearing that he would follow a history of alcohol abuse set in the house.
Judge Hughes asked for Bauer and his parents to come to court, saying the young man needs help, not punishment.
Mr Bauer admitted his son had been “a problem child” since fourth class, and while he did complete his Leaving Cert, he “would have done well but he wouldn’t study”.
He agreed that his son needs therapy, and said he has been receiving some treatment.
Shane Bauer couldn’t remember any of the events surrounding the incident with Garda Quinlan.
Judge Hughes assigned Patricia Cronin solicitor under the Legal Aid Scheme as Bauer had no legal representation.
She said he was anxious not to go into custody, but agreed to go to hospital for treatment.
She said she explained that everyone is trying to help him.
Bauer was remanded on bail to April 4 on condition he attends appointments set up for him.
“You have to change your lifestyle. We’re here to help you, not to punish you, but if you don’t take the help you will be punished,” advised the judge.