It is not my practice to comment on individual cases. However, I have been advised by the probation and welfare service that this young man was accepted by a hostel, which is funded by my Department, prior to Christmas 2003 but that during his one week stay, he absconded from the hostel on a number of occasions. I am further informed that a recent multi-disciplinary case conference was held to consider whether the hostel in question was a suitable placement in the short term as an alternative to a continued remand in custody, pending the availability of a place at a unit specialising in cases of this type.
Following further deliberations, the management committee at the hostel decided that it was not in a position to offer a further placement, even temporarily, to the young man in question. Arrangements have been made by the South Western Area Health Board with the National Rehabilitation Hospital to carry out a comprehensive assessment of this young man's needs. The assessment is to take place this week. This young man is currently on remand in custody to Cloverhill Prison and this case is listed for further hearing on Wednesday, 11 February2004.