£10,000 a week to house young boy at care facility

Beechlea Children’s Home, Enniskillen

A YOUNG boy who appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court charged with numerous offences is currently costing the Department of Health £10,000 a week to house in a supervised care facility.
The 15-year-old boy appeared at court on Wednesday pleading guilty to arson, two counts of criminal damage, threats to kill, seven counts of common assault, assault occasioning actually bodily harm, assault on Police and resisting police. The offence took place within a time period January and May within different care facilities.
On January 16th police were called to Beechlea Children’s Home after receiving a call from a staff member had been assaulted. When they arrived the youth was aggressive, and assaulted them, leaving one of the officers with a broken finger.
Staff told police that he had become aggressive within a few hours, and he had headbutted a member of staff. He was then taken to Enniskillen PSNI station.
On March 23rd, police were called to Lakewood Regional Secure Centre, Bangor after reports that the same youth had become aggressive towards staff and made threats to kill. A television was also damaged in this incident and when questioned, he denied all offences.
In a earlier incident, on February 24th a staff member felt threatened by the defendant, and when questioned he said that the staff member had got him mixed up with another resident.
On March 22nd, Police were called to Lakewood Regional Secure Centre following a report of arson. When they arrived, they observed two towels burnt. The defendant was arrested, and made a no comment interview.
On May 20th, Police received another report of assault on a female at Lakewood. When the defendant was asked to return to his room, he clenched his fist and said: “I’m not going anywhere.”
When arrested he gave a no comment interview.
Due to the incidents and break down at both Beechlea and Lakewood, the youth has now been placed in a one to one environment which costs the Department of Health £10,000 a week.
The youth’s social worker told the court that they were working to get him back into education.
District Judge Nigel Broderick described the defendant as a “complex young man.” He also acknowledged that the youth had been placed in a one to one setting, at an expense to the Department. Concluding Judge Broderick warned: “We have considered if a custodial sentence would be the best action, but we decided not.”
Judge Broderick ordered the youth a 24 hour reparation order to be completed within six months. He will also supervised by the Youth Justice Agency for a period of six months, and was ordered to compete a 40 hour Community Responsibility Order.



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