Teen remanded by judge with ‘heavy heart’

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A judge remanded a 16-year-old boy in custody with ‘a heavy heart’ because the teen was found unconscious on a bathroom floor after taking drugs.

District Judge Barney McElholm said he was ‘very worried’ about the teenage boy.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, is charged with possessing class B drugs on July 30.

He was also accused of breaching bail for other offences.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard staff at a residential home found the youth lying unconscious on the bathroom floor with a ‘deal bag’ of drugs in his hand.

During police interview, the teen admitted possessing cannabis and claims he uses it as a sedative to help him sleep.

Police opposed bail because the 16-year-old had breached conditions numerous times in the last few weeks.

The officer said there were ‘grave concerns’ for the boy’s safety and added that he believed he would commit further offences.

District Judge McElholm said he was ‘very worried’ about the boy and said ‘he needs to get off drugs. Constant daily drug use leads to mental health issues’.

The judge said he would prefer to remand the teen to secure accommodation but because there were no beds available he had to remand him in custody.

Judge McElholm added ‘I can’t find anything else to do with him’.

The teen will appear in court again on August 18.