Youth detention for Islander found in possession of drugs

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Tyler Bolton (19) appeared before the Royal Court yesterday, where it was heard that his offending had put him in breach of a previous community service order.

The first incident related to an affray committed at the large stone steps – known locally as ‘the slabs’ – near La Frégate on 16 May last year. Bolton had met a group of eight of his friends to ‘socialise and drink alcohol’.

However, the court heard, a dispute broke out with another group over a ‘bottle of alcohol’. During this dispute, Bolton shouted and swore at a woman and ‘threw beer’, which landed on her.

He was arrested the next day and, during an interview, denied the allegations and claimed that someone had made them maliciously.

Crown Advocate Chris Baglin, prosecuting, told the court that on 23 January this year, the States police attended the defendant’s flat and found him unresponsive on the floor. He later revealed that he had taken seven ecstasy pills.

Following a search of the premises, officers uncovered text and audio messages on his phone – dating back to 1 November last year – which indicated that he had been offering to supply class A, B and C drugs to three people.

A total of 6.6ml of one form of THC – the main psychoactive compound in marijuana – 3.5ml of another form of the same drug, residue of MDMB (synthetic cannabis) and 1.23g of cannabis was found.

Advocate Baglin told the court that the defendant, who had a record of 32 previous convictions, had been assessed as taking a limited degree of responsibility for his offending and was at ‘high risk of reconviction within 12 months’.

Advocate Sarah Dale, defending, called on the court to spare her client custody, arguing that, despite his record of offending, he had recently made a great deal of progress.

She referred to her client’s traumatic and difficult upbringing, during which he had been deprived of someone demonstrating ‘positive influences’ to show him right from – someone to ‘watch and learn’ from.

She also highlighted his mental-health issues which, she said, had led to him using drugs and alcohol and being ‘extremely vulnerable’.

Until recently, she told the court, Bolton had been working in the construction industry and had ‘thrived’ in a structured work pattern, but had broken his leg after being hit by a car while cycling. Advocate Dale added that it was likely that he would be able to return to his job if he were to be granted community service.

However, Commissioner Sir Michael Birt, presiding, said that due to Bolton’s history of offending while on bail and breaching court orders, the court would be unable to spare him a custodial sentence.

He said: ‘If you go on as you are, you are just going to spend your life in youth detention or prison, which is no life for anyone. We hope very much that if you mean what you say, that you will take advantage of the services available to you while in La Moye.’

A confiscation hearing is due to take place on 31 January.

Jurats Robert Christensen and Andrew Cornish were sitting.

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