Teenager accused of threat to kill social worker

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A teenage girl has appeared in court accused of threatening to kill a social worker in a children’s home.

The 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named because of her age, is further charged with assaulting the social worker on May 13.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that police were called to a children’s home in the city by two social workers.

They had locked themselves in an office in the home and claimed the teenage girl was ‘aggressive’.

It is alleged she became abusive during a phone call to the social worker and when she returned to the home she continued to be aggressive.

The court heard allegations the girl approached the social worker and threatened to kill her.

The social worker ‘believed’ the girl was ‘capable of carrying out these threats’.

The court heard the social worker was in ‘genuine fear’ she would be assaulted and locked herself in an office until police arrived.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said the girl’s place in the children’s home was still on offer.

However, she said staff would be concerned about the risk the girl poses to herself.

The officer revealed the alleged injured party still works in the children’s home

The court heard claims the defendant had threatened to harm herself if she had to return to the home

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott accepted that it was ‘not satisfactory’ for the girl to return to the children’s home but it was ‘the best that can be done’.

He added that her behaviour ‘hasn’t been the worst’.

The solicitor said that there was a ‘lack of secure accommodation’ elsewhere for the 15-year-old to go to.

He added that the girl denies the offences.

District Judge Peter King said he was ‘obliged’ to grant bail because of the defendant’s age.

However, he said if she was an adult ‘I would have no hesitation in remanding you in custody’.

The judge said the fact that the social worker still works in the children’s home ‘causes me some concern but my hands are tied’.

He released the 15-year-old on her own bail of £250 and ordered her to abide by the rules of the children’s home.

The judge warned the teen if she breached bail she would be remanded into custody for her own safety and this ‘really is your last chance’.

The girl will appear at the youth court again next Tuesday.