Teenage boy remanded in custody after being found unconscious due to drug use

 

Derry Magistrates Court
A judge has said it is with 'a heavy heart' that he remanded a 16-year-old boy in custody after being told he was found unconscious on a bathroom floor after taking drugs.
In a case at Derry Magistrate's Court where the youth was brought on charges of possessing class b drugs on July 30 and also of breaching his bail District Judge Barney McElholm said he was 'very worried about this young man.'
The court was told that staff at a residential home found the youth lying unconscious on the floor of his bathroom with a deal bag of drugs in his hand.
At interview he admitted possessing cannabis but said he uses it as a sedative to help him sleep.
A police officer connected the youth to the charges and opposed bail being granted on the grounds that there had been 'a pattern of breaches' over the last number of weeks.
The officer said there were 'grave concerns' for the boy's safety and added that he believed he would commit further offences.
Defence solicitor Mr. Ciaran McGuinness said his client had given an explanation for the cannabis.
Judge McElholm said he was 'very worried' about the boy and added: "He needs to get off drugs.
"Constant daily drug use leads to mental health issues."
He said his preference would be to remand the youth to secure accommodation but on being told there were no beds available he said it was 'with a heavy heart' he was remanding him in custody.
He said: "I can't find anything else to do with him."
The youth will appear again on August 18.