13 Aug 2022

Derry girl (14) reported missing 92 times - court told

Derry man jailed for assault on mother and father

A 14-year-old girl had been listed as missing on 92 occasions, Derry Magistrate's Court heard this week.

The girl was appearing charged with breaching her bail at the weekend by being away from the children's home where she resides.

The teenager is currently facing charges of burglary, assault on police, disorderly behaviour and criminal damage.

A police officer told the court the girl had run away from the home on Saturday and only returned on Monday morning and police resources had been expended looking for her.

She said police were concerned that the girl would re-offend as she had 10 bail breaches this year alone.

The court heard that police were concerned about the girl's safety as she could be open to exploitation.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said that on Saturday the girl had been with friends and phoned the children's home to come and collect her.

For some reason no one answered and so she got a taxi but arrived late for her curfew and was told police were on their way. The solicitor said that realising she would spend the week- end in custody she ran away and stayed with friends.

He said to her credit she had kept in touch with the children's home.

Mr Quigley said while the situation 'was not good it could have been an awful lot worse.'

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay said the courts were trying to protect the young girl and re-released her on bail to appear again later this month.

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