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18 May 2022

Judge tells Longford teen he is ‘hanging by a fingernail’

Judge tells Longford teen he is  ‘hanging by a fingernail’

A Longford teenager facing a number of criminal charges, including violent disorder, is due to reappear before the court in June.

David Nevin (19), of 8 Camlin Meadows, Farneyhoogan, Longford, was given a warning by Judge Bernadette Owens to engage with the probation service between now and the next court date.

The teen is facing a number of charges before the court including a violent disorder with five co-accused, which occurred on St Mel’s Road on November 13, 2020, when Mr Nevin was a minor.

Mr Nevin is also accused of section three assault on the same date and theft of a Huawei smartphone to the value of €250.

Earlier that year, on April 20, 2020, on New Street, Longford, Mr Nevin allegedly damaged the lock and chain that was locking two bicycles.

On August 29, 2020, it is alleged that, at Harbour Point, Longford, he stole €164 in cash, two bank cards and a plack Puma sports bag. He is also charged with handling stolen property, to wit a £370 pair of shoes.

More recently, he is charged with a public order offence, assault of a Garda and possession of a quantity of cannabis on June 23, 2021, a violent disorder offence on the Ballinalee Road on April 12, 2021, and public order in Edgeworthstown on April 23, 2021.

A probation report handed into court last week was labelled “alarming” by defence solicitor, Frank Gearty, who said his client is due to reappear in June on the St Mel’s Road violent disorder.

“You don’t necessarily have to send him to prison today,” Mr Gearty told Judge Owens, “you have the option of maybe waiting to deal with everything on June 7 when you hear the main event.

“I told him it was toothbrush time when I read the probation report. He was under 18 when most of these offences were committed and he is aware he may go to full adult prison.”

“Mr Nevin, do you understand when somebody tells you you’re hanging by a fingernail?” asked Judge Owens, as she perused the probation report, which indicated a lack of engagement by Mr Nevin.

Mr Gearty told the court that Mr Nevin’s main problem seems to be cannabis and alcohol misuse and that “every penny of his social welfare is spent on this stuff”, amounting to between €50 and €100 a week.

“Obviously spending that much on cannabis and alcohol is completely unacceptable,” said Mr Gearty.

“My concern is there may be an underlying issue that’s not going to be addressed if he’s getting through €50 to €100 of weed and other things every week,” said Judge Owens.

Sgt Enda Daly, for the state, noted that Mr Nevin “may stand contrite” but said the state’s concern is “when he goes out that door, is he listening to anyone?”.

Judge Owens, wanting to take some time to make her decision on Mr Nevin’s case, requested that he remain in custody and return for second calling later in the afternoon.

Following a number of other cases, she returned to Mr Nevin, who sat quietly in the custody box, while Judge Owens dealt with a very busy court list.

“Now Mr Nevin, do you realise what it’s like to not be able to move or do what you want to do?” Judge Owens asked him.

“Yes, your honour,” Mr Nevin replied.

“I’m putting all of these matters into June 7 to give Mr Nevin one further opportunity to engage with the probation officer,” said Judge Owens.

“In addition, I want him to pay €70 a week to his mother. You’re still hanging by that fingernail, Mr Nevin, and the ball is in your court.”

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