Boy (16) to face Circuit Court for raid where woman jumped from window with baby

The teen will be tried at Circuit Court level, which has tougher sentencing powers.
The teen will be tried at Circuit Court level, which has tougher sentencing powers.

A 16-year-old boy will face Circuit Court trial over a house raid where a mother escaped by jumping out an upstairs window clutching her baby, a judge has ruled.

He is one of two youths charged with burglary at an address in Tallaght in Dublin on June 7 last and has been refused bail by the Dublin Children's Court. It is alleged the woman heard one of the raiders say: “I'm going to cut her up” and she jumped out the window carrying her 20-month old baby, which was unharmed.

During a preliminary hearing Judge John O'Connor held the teen's case was too serious to be dealt with at Dublin Children's Court. This means he will be tried at Circuit Court level, which has tougher sentencing powers.

In an outline of the allegations Garda Colin Hetherington said it was alleged there was a riot in progress outside the house and a front window was smashed.

The defendant, who cannot be identified because he is a juvenile, and another youth were allegedly seen going into the house and were found in an upstairs bedroom hiding under a blanket.

Gda Hetherington said that when he went outside he was approached by the woman, whose father owned the house. She reported to him that she had heard noises outside and could see two males “with sticks and weapons and they smashed their way in”. She told the garda she overheard “I'm going to cut her up” but she did not know which person said that. She jumped out an upstairs window with her baby and landed on a neighbour's shed.

Her baby was unharmed but the mother suffered a leg injury and was in hospital for two days. She since moved out fearing there would be more incidents, Gda Hetherington said.

Defence solicitor Brendan Ahern asked Judge O'Connor to consider accepting jurisdiction. He said a family bereavement had a detrimental effect on the 16-year-old boy's development. He said the teen's level of immaturity was shown by the fact that he was found in the house hiding under a blanket.

The teen was intoxicated and in the company of an older youth at the time, the solicitor also said.

The DPP had recommended that the youth, despite his age, should be tried in the Circuit Court, and after hearing the prosecution evidence as well as defence submissions, Judge O'Connor agreed.

He refused jurisdiction and ordered the youth, who was accompanied to court by a family member, to appear again in December when it is expected that he will be served with a book of evidence and sent forward for trial.

A second youth is facing separate proceedings in connection with the alleged incident.