“You walk out of here free today but you’re not free, because I’ll be on your case for the next 12 months.”
That was the warning given by Judge Seamus Hughes to a teenage boy, who is under the Probation Service scrutiny for a year after he caused thousands of euro in damage to a window at County Buildings, Mullingar.
If the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, commits another offence in the next 12 months, Judge Hughes said he will deal with the teenager severely and send him to Oberstown.
He said the more he sees the boy in court, the more he dislikes him, and he decided not to give the young man time to pay the court bit by bit for the damage.
The teen was with a group throwing stones earlier this year when a stone ricocheted off a tree and shattered the €4,500 window.
He hadn’t intended to break the window, the court heard.
The judge sent the boy’s father out at lunchtime to bring €500 compensation to the court in full and final settlement of the cost.
He said it was the best he could do for the council.
Judge Hughes told the older man that it was his sincere wish that “you get that €500 back from this pup over the next year, that he repays each and every cent”.
“Your father is giving you a loan to keep you out of Oberstown House because that’s where you’re going if I don’t get €500,” the judge said before the court broke up for lunch.
When they returned with the money, the judge decided not to follow the Probation Service’s advice to put the boy on a probation bond for 12 months which would finalise the case.
Instead he adjourned the case for 12 months for a probation report.
“If it’s a positive report, I may dismiss the case and if not, I will deal with it severely and send you to Oberstown,” he warned, giving gardaí permission to re-enter this case if there are any further problems.