Dublin teen was scamming cash with fake Fr Peter McVerry Trust card

Dublin teen was scamming cash with fake Fr Peter McVerry Trust card

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy “with expensive tastes” pretended he was raising money for a homeless charity, a court has heard.

The youth has been remanded on bail pending sentence at Dublin Children’s Court by Judge John O’Connor who described the crime as a recurring problem.

The court heard that on August 23 last year at Dublin’s Liffey Valley Shopping Centre the teenager had a fake Fr Peter McVerry Trust sponsorship card and a photo-copied ID badge.

The teenager stole a set of blinds from a shop at the centre in Nov. 7 last and clothes worth €35 from another shop there on Dec. 10 last.

The court heard that the teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, stole clothes worth €225 from Arnotts on Dublin’s Henry Street on Oct. 10 last.

On August 18 last he was caught carrying out another fake charity collection in a residential estate and on August 28 he stole five bottles of Georgio Armani aftershave from a shop.

The schoolboy, who is about to sit his Junior Certificate, has pleaded guilty to all the charges

Judge O’Connor said the boy has expensive tastes and “has a view that if I want it, I take it” and he had embarrassed his mother who accompanied him to the hearing.

He was concerned that the boy, who did not address the court, was using vulnerable charities, which he described as “absolutely appalling”. He told the teenager that he was using other people’s good nature for his own greed. 

He said the Fr Peter McVerry Trust does very good work and he cannot have it trivialised by the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor.

He also warned that this sort of behaviour could land the boy in custody. He adjourned the case for a victim impact statement to be obtained from the Fr Peter McVerry Trust. He told defence counsel Damian McKeone, “This is a recurring problem for charities, I have to listen to what they have to say”.

A probation report on the teenager has been furnished to the court. The case resumes next in June after he has finished the Junior Cert exams.

“If you sit your exams that will be a plus for you,” the judge told him.