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'On the run' youth remanded in custody

A 17-year-old youth is in custody after a PSNI officer this week told Derry Magistrate's Court he had been avoiding police for 51 days.

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A 17-year-old youth is in custody after a PSNI officer this week told Derry Magistrate's Court he had been avoiding police for 51 days.

The court was told the youth, on bail on drug related matters, had not turned up for court on 19 November last when a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The officer told the court police had indicated if the youth handed himself in the matter could have be dealt with but the youth failed to appear.

The court was told police were “actively seeking” the youth for 51 days and he had been listed as a “missing person.” He said this had been upgraded to a “high risk missing person” and he had been found hiding in a cupboard at his mother's address
He opposed bail on the grounds the youth had been avoiding police for more than a month-and-a-half. He said police had no idea where he had been or what he had been doing or how he was financing himself during that period.

Defence barrister, Eoghan Devlin, said the youth could be released to his grandmother's address with stringent conditions to ensure he turned up for court.
District Judge Barney McElholm asked where had the youth been during the 51 days and was told he had been staying at his grandmother's home.

The judge said he was being asked to release the youth to an address where someone had “colluded” with him to avoid arrest.
He said that was not going to happen and remanded the youth in custody until the next sitting of Derry Youth Court next month.

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