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Dublin teen accused of robbing 90-year-old woman with a knife faces trial

CourtsBy Sunday World
The elderly woman awoke in the middle of the night to find a person standing over her wielding a knife and demanding jewellery
The elderly woman awoke in the middle of the night to find a person standing over her wielding a knife and demanding jewellery

A Dublin teenager accused of holding a knife to a 90-year-old woman during a burglary has been sent forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

He was served with a book of evidence at the Dublin Children's Court which had refused jurisdiction to deal with the case after hearing the elderly woman awoke in the middle of the night to find a person standing over her wielding a knife and demanding jewellery.

It was held that due to the seriousness of the allegations, the 16-year-old boy's case should be transferred from the juvenile court to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.

It is alleged he took rings from her fingers after he allegedly broke into the terrified woman's apartment in Dun Laoghaire in the early hours of April 6th last. 

Judge John O'Connor told him he was being returned for trial to the next sitting of the Dublin Circuit Criminal where he will face his next hearing on October 23rd.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his lawyer and staff from the Child and Family Agency, was further remanded in custody pending trial. 

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, was originally charged with possessing stolen property: a ladies watch, a half-eternity ring with flat diamond on a gold band and a full gold eternity ring and a four stone-diamond ring.

However, that was later substituted with burglary and knife possession charges and it was held that the case should go forward to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers. 

In an outline of the allegations Garda Peter O'Flynn had said the incident happened at 2am and the 90-year-old woman had been asleep. 

“She woke up in her bed to find a young man standing over her holding a knife, he demanded money and jewellery,” he said. Gda O'Flynn said it would be alleged the youth took a watch from her bedside locker before noticing the terrified pensioner had three rings on her fingers.

“He demanded that she take them off, which she did,” said Gda O'Flynn, adding that the teenager then ransacked her room and went through her presses. It was alleged that when he left he discarded the knife on the ground outside the apartment building.

The defence had pleaded for the case to be kept in the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The boy's solicitor Aenghus McCarthy said the seriousness of the case could not be disputed. 

He said the teenager's parents were deceased and until last year he had never come to the notice of gardai.

Mr McCarthy explained that the boy, then aged 15, admits handling the stolen property but denies being the perpetrator of the burglary. The boy, who had been living in a tent, was “found camping with the fruits of his labour”, he said.

However jurisdiction was refused.