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Dublin boy beat man with metal pole during car hi-jacking in Tallaght, court hears

Dublin boy beat man with metal pole during car hi-jacking in Tallaght, court hears

A then 12-year-old Dublin boy repeatedly beat a man to the head and body with a metal pole during a car hi-jacking, a court has heard.

The boy, now aged 13, who cannot be named because he is a minor, is charged with unlawfully seizing and taking control of a 04-reg Ford Fiesta by force and being armed with a large metal pole during the alleged incident in a residential area in Tallaght, in Dublin last August.

The case was listed before the Dublin Children's Court for a ruling on whether the case would remain there or instead get sent forward to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.

Garda David Morris had already confirmed the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that the prosecution is to go ahead.

Giving a summary of the prosecution evidence, Gda Morris said the alleged hi-jacking happened at about 8.15pm after a 22-year-old man drove into a residential estate. A male friend of the same age and two 17-year-old girls were also travelling in the car.

It was alleged that the Ford Fiesta was stopped and confronted by a large group of youths, including the accused. One of the boy's friends punched the driver and his car keys were taken, the court heard.

The driver attempted to retrieve his keys at which point it is alleged the boy "approached with a very large metal bar and began hitting him a number of times".

The court heard that the man was beaten on the head, chest, back and neck by the boy. The man and his passengers fled as the group of youths surrounded the car and then drove it away at speed, it is alleged.

The boy was a passenger in the Ford Fiesta when it was driven away, Gda Morris said.

It was recovered at 11pm that night "after being smashed up and badly damaged", Judge John O’Connor was told. The boy, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, was arrested on a later date and interviewed by gardai.

Judge O'Connor deferred ruling on the trial venue issue, saying that it was too serious to decide at this stage. He made an order of disclosure of prosecution evidence to the defence which can make submissions pleading for the juvenile court to accept jurisdiction by citing the age, level of maturity and any other relevant evidence.

The case was adjourned until a date later this month. The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his barrister, did not address the court and has been remanded on continuing bail.

The bail conditions state he has to obey a 9pm to 7am curfew at his home and not interfere with witnesses or the injured party in the case.

Evidence was given that he had broken the curfew condition on several occasions over recent weeks, leading to the judge giving a warning that he will be remanded in custody if it continues.

The judge told him the reasons why bail was not being revoked were his age and his mother had co-operated with gardai during one of the curfew breaches. "It is a pretty serious matter for a child of 13 to go into custody," he told the boy.