Youth sentenced for 14-month crime spree which involved assault and robbery

Attack: The youth kicked and punched an 18-year-old student on a Dublin Bus
Attack: The youth kicked and punched an 18-year-old student on a Dublin Bus

A DUBLIN youth, who launched an unprovoked attack on a student on a bus, has been given an eight-month sentence.

Dublin Children's Court heard the boy, 17, attacked the young man just months after mugging him. He had also taken part in a “vicious” attack on a fast-food delivery man who was dragged away from his car and kicked and punched.

Judge John O'Connor said the court was left with “no other option but to give a detention order” for his litany of crimes committed over a 14-month period.

The teenage defendant, who had pleaded guilty to assault, robbery, theft and handling thousands of euro worth of stolen property, was also placed on supervised probation for the next 18 months.

The youth cannot be named because he is a juvenile and the court heard he could hardly remember a lot of the crimes because of tablets he was taken at the time.

Garda Gina O'Brien told the juvenile court that on September 11 last, a student, had been travelling home from college; he was sitting on the top deck of a Dublin bus and four males, including the accused, sat behind him.

The youths began to shout at the student and the accused kicked him to the back of his head and punched him twice in the face. The 18-year-old suffered a black eye, bruising and swelling, the court heard.

In June last year, the same student had been the victim of an attempted robbery carried out by the youth. The juvenile court heard that the teenage defendant “attempted to steal his phone and in doing so assaulted him”.

The student, who had been on his way home from a Leaving Cert exam, suffered cuts to his leg when he fell down,  grazes to his head and “he received a couple of punches as well” during that incident, described by Judge O'Connor as a "vicious assault".

On February 11 last, the youth was caught with €2,500 worth of property taken in a house burglary in Tallaght. Following a foot chase gardai recovered two laptop computers, jewellery and coins.

He admitted robbery of a food delivery man's wallet containing €50 and assorted cards and assault causing him harm in connection with an incident on April 4 last year.

The deliveryman had been set on by two other youths before he was “dragged down an alleyway and assaulted by four males”.

The victim, a foreign national, had his wallet and keys taken, and he sustained cuts and bruises.

The court has also heard the youth had been involved in an attempted robbery which was foiled when two gardai lay in wait in a delivery man's van, on December 6, 2013.

When the man got out of his van he was approached by a person carrying a knife and the teenager who had been armed with a stick.

As the teen and his accomplice approached the deliveryman, two gardai jumped out of the back of the van and arrested youth and his accomplice.

The court also heard that he stole petrol from in two thefts at filling stations.

On September 16 last year, gardai raided his home and recovered a Playstation console, three Nintendo DS, an Xbox controller with games and other accessories. On the previous day he was caught with a stolen Ipod. 

His remaining charges were for not attending his court case on two dates, stealing food worth €25 and a theft of a ruck sack in incidents in January and March last year.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone asked the court to note the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, had co-operated with the Probation Service who had prepared a pre-sentence report for the court.

He said the youth, who showed no emotion during the hearing, had difficulty remembering the incidents “due to the fact that a lot of them occurred in a very short time span and because of the fact he was taking a lot of tablets at that stage”.

The teen left school after completing the Junior Cert and had no prior convictions until these offences. Counsel said the teenager began to associate with an intimidating peer group.

Finalising the case, Judge O'Connor told the youth: “I hope that you do change around and when you come out, you are a different person.”