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Portadown teen starts ‘criminal career proper’ after punching hole in door and headbutting wall

'There comes a point in everyone’s life when despite all the help and assistance offered there is just no way of rehabilitating them'

A Portadown teenager who put a hole in a door and headbutted a wall after an argument has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Court heard the 18-year-old had five previous diversions as a youth as the district judge told him: “This is the start of your criminal career proper.”

David Harvey, of Fitzgerald Park, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, where he appeared via videolink from Hydebank.

It was heard that on September 23, police were called to a domestic disturbance at Montague Street, Portadown.

The injured party said the defendant had punched a hole in a bedroom door and headbutted a wall.

Harvey was subsequently arrested and made no reply to caution.

During interview at Lurgan Custody Suite, the defendant made full admissions to the offences.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “He has had five diversions, if you include Youth Conference Orders, he has had a community responsibility order.

“There comes a point in everyone’s life when despite all the help and assistance offered there is just no way of rehabilitating them.”

Defence counsel commented that Harvey had both Autism and ADHD.

District Judge Kelly said: “This would have nothing to do with the consumption of drugs which his record is peppered with, which his GP fully supports the use of.”

She added: “I am not considering a pre-sentence report as he is currently in custody and not just for these charges.”

Defence counsel explained: “There had been a verbal altercation, an argument, in the house and he lost his temper.

“He has come to a crossroads in his life and he simply cannot continue like this.”

District Judge Kelly commented: “This woman put a roof over his head, provided him with food, maybe even cooked it for him and cleaned all of his clothes.

“There is only one penalty I can impose given his record and given his numerous entries for criminal damage.”

Harvey was sentenced to three months in prison for the offences.

District Judge Kelly told the defendant: “This is the start of your criminal career proper; the sentencing will only go up and up from here, from now on you are talking years not months.”

An appeal was launched by the defence but Harvey was not granted bail pending this.

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