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Dublin teen with 35 convictions who terrorised commuters given custodial sentence

The court heard the teen and a gang picked on and mugged five teenage boys and young men travelling by rail
The court heard the teen and a gang picked on and mugged five teenage boys and young men travelling by rail

A DUBLIN teenager, who terrorised young commuters on the Dublin to Maynooth rail line, has been given an eight-month custodial sentence.

Judge John O'Connor heard at the Dublin Children's Court that the 17-year-old boy and his gang mugged five youths in one day and one month later he stole, and then torched a woman's car.

The teenager, who cannot be named because he is a minor, had 35 prior criminal convictions including eight for robbery as well as: seven thefts, six dangerous driving incidents, two for trespassing, one for driving without insurance, three for assault, one for sexual assault and two for criminal damage.

He was already serving a custodial sentence for earlier crimes and due for release in February. However, Judge O'Connor said the eight-month term he imposed would be consecutive meaning it will come into effect once the boy's existing sentence is completed.

The 17-year-old, who was accompanied to court by his mother and granny, pleaded guilty to five robbery charges as well as motor theft and arson.

Judge O'Connor said the youth shows aggression to very vulnerable people. He noted the boy had a “significant drug issue”, had gone through the juvenile justice system and was well known to the court.

Judge O'Connor said the teen had been given numerous chances before and was “definitely one of the people who is not a success story from this court”. A probation report placed him at a high risk of re-offending, he also said.

The court heard the teen and a gang picked on and mugged five teenage boys and young men travelling by rail between Dublin and Maynooth on January 9 last year. Garda Janice O'Neill told the court the first reported incident happened at the Coolmine train station platform where the victim was threatened, grabbed from behind and had his smart-phone stole before “he received a number of punches to the face”.

Later that day at Pearse St train station, in the city-centre, another young man boarded to travel to Maynooth. He was approached by five males, including the accused, and was punched in the left eye before he was grabbed, hit in the face and they searched his belongings. His water bottle and Leap travel card was stolen.

Fifteen minutes later another victim noticed that he was alone in carriage with the youth and his gang. Once the train moved off they took his wallet which contained some cash, and they told him they knew where he lived. He was pushed around and his laptop and Leap card were stolen.

The suspects got off the train at the Navan Road stop where they set on two other youths. They demanded money from them and they were punched and “kicked on the ground”. A jacket taken during the robbery