A CIRCUIT Court judge has remanded an 18-year-old Skibbereen teenager in custody overnight to give him time to read his own probation report.
On Tuesday, March 19th, Flor Murphy, solicitor, brought two appeal cases before Judge Brian O’Callaghan at Skibbereen Circuit Court on behalf of Dylan Fahy of 18 Mardyke Park, Skibbereen.
The cases had been heard, briefly, at a previous sitting of the Circuit Court last December, but Judge O’Callaghan adjourned both in order to review the appellant’s behaviour and to allow time for the production of a probation officer’s report.
When he read the report, Judge O’Callaghan remarked: ‘This man is a disgrace.’
He said the accused had been given the benefit of every service that is available by the State, and the voluntary services, but he was just ‘taking up space’ that others might have put to good use to rehabilitate themselves.
Judge O’Callaghan said he was of the opinion that Dylan Fahy was ‘giving two fingers to the system’.
He added: ‘It’s like he is saying, “I am the most important person in the world and you are here to serve me”.’
Judge O’Callaghan noted that another report – one from the Oberstown Children’s Detention Centre, where the appellant had previously spent six months as a juvenile – was ‘completely negative.’
After remanding the accused in custody to appear at Bantry Circuit Court the following day – Wednesday, March 20th – Judge O’Callaghan remarked: ‘The court knows exactly the hardship he has presented to the people around him. He is 18 and is taking up the services of the State for the last four years.’
The first of the two appeal cases brought by the appellant was in respect of a 10-month prison sentence imposed by Judge James McNulty at Skibbereen District Court.
On that occasion, the appellant was convicted of having €1,000 worth of drugs for sale or supply.
Dylan Fahy was sentenced to 30 days in prison for possession of MDMA; 30 days for possession of cocaine; and 10 months for possession of cannabis for the purpose of sale or supply; as well as 10 months, concurrent, for possession of cocaine for the purpose of sale or supply.
The second appeal related to a 90-day sentence Judge McNulty imposed on Dylan Fahy for making 17 persistent 999 calls to the garda station at Anglesea Street in Cork city centre and thereby tying up the emergency line for 19 minutes.
In appealing against the severity of the sentence, Mr Murphy had asked Judge O’Callaghan to take ‘an overview’ of all matters.
And he pointed out that alleged offences – which pre-dated his client’s Oberstown detention – continue to be dealt with. The solicitor said: ‘There is still at least one outstanding charge in the District Court at the end of this month that pre-dates his detention at Oberstown in January 2017.’
Mr Murphy claimed that his client was being put at a disadvantage because he felt he was unable to get out from under the charges that are being brought against him.
He said he’d prefer to ‘get them all together.’
When the case was called at Bantry Circuit Court on March 20th, Dylan Fahy went into the witness box and told the court that he had found the cells in Cork prison to be ‘disgusting.’
He said: ‘I know what I did. It was serious and I am truly sorry.’
Dylan Fahy said all of his misdemeanours were drug-related and that drugs had caused him to ‘spiral out of control.’
He apologised for his actions, saying: ‘I am sorry for everything I have done. I was addicted to cocaine, anything to get out of my head.’ Dylan Fahy told the judge: ‘I am willing to do a piss-test three times a week for drugs and everything.’
And the appellant gave an undertaking to properly engage with the probation services.
The appellant said he had no wish to go back to jail because ‘I couldn’t sleep a wink last night. It was terrifying, horrible.’
Judge O’Callaghan described the 18-year-old as being like ‘a 40-year-old fella’ before the court.
However, he said he would adjourn the case to the July sitting of Bantry District Court on the basis that the accused engage with the probation services and comply with all of their directions.
But he warned Dylan Fahy: ‘If you fail to engage, you will be brought back immediately to this court.’
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