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Month In Custody For Insolent Teen

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Christchurch, Dec 31 NZPA - A teenager's rude gesture in turning his back on the judge as he stood in the dock was followed up with his family swearing and cursing at the judge and the police as he faced a one-month remand in custody.

"That doesn't fill me with confidence either," said Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave as the family of 17-year-old Daniel Joseph Patrick Leahy stormed from the courtroom.

Leahy now faces being held in custody until January 29, though the judge has given leave for the case to be called earlier if a suitable bail address -- one that comes with guarantees about control over his behaviour -- could be found.

Judge Neave said he would not consider bail because the two charges were too serious.

Leahy, a steel worker, has entered no pleas to charges of burglary of a house in Salmond Street, Hoon Hay, on December 10, and intentionally setting fire to a Housing New Zealand property in the same street on Monday.

Judge Neave said he did not seek to criticise his mother, but she had not been able to show that she could curb his behaviour and he would not allow him bail to live at her address, even when Leahy offered a 24-hour curfew.

Leahy has been living in the same street where the burglary and arson are alleged.

As Judge Neave gave his reasons for refusing to grant bail, Leahy turned and leaned back on the front of the dock.

The judge noted the insolent gesture.

He said bail might be considered again if an address could be found. Leahy suggested he could live with his older sister in Ashburton.

Judge Neave said that would depend on guarantees that could be given about his behaviour.

After the remand in custody, the family wanted to see him and crowded close about the police court escort staff as he was led out of court. They then voiced their feelings as they stomped out of the court.

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