Dublin youth jailed for mugging tourist

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Dublin youth jailed for mugging tourist

A DUBLIN youth has been given a six-month custodial sentence for a mugging of a Scottish tourist in Temple Bar which was described by a judge as “a terrible experience”.

The boy and his co-accused, both aged 16, had originally pleaded not guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to a charge of robbery from the man who was surrounded and had his wallet containing about 350 stolen at Essex St West on June 15 last year.

This required the victim to travel back to Ireland, in the middle of his holidays, to give evidence for the prosecution. Minutes before the trial was about to begin they changed their pleas to guilty.

Judge John O'Connor was furnished with a probation report and finalised the case of one of the boys, who also had other charges for burglary, public order and drug possession taken into consideration with the sentence. He also directed that the teenager would be on supervised probation for six months after his release.

The second teenager is still awaiting sentence at the Children's Court.

Garda Bernard Maguire showed the court CCTV evidence of the man being surround by a gang and pushed against a window before he was struck to the head by a member of the group resulting in him falling to the ground.

Neither defendant, who showed no remorse during the hearing, hit the man but were part of the gang that surrounded him on the street at 1.15am, the court heard.

Gda Maguire disagreed that the guilty pleas was of assistance to the prosecution saying he had all his witnesses ready for the trial. The teens had also been identified on CCTV footage, the court heard.

One of the boy's began grinning as the victim, Robert Robson, told the court that he recalled being surrounded and “it was fairly obvious it was not going to end well”. He said his jaw hurt and he was bruised afterwards.

It was his second trip to Dublin and “I was not planning to come back in a hurry, it is not something you would expect”. “You wouldn't advertise that,” he added.

“I'm not going to say it left me mentally scarred but I was pretty shaken up by it,” Mr Robson said.

Judge O'Connor said the man had a terrible experience. The court was told one of the boys had a prior conviction for theft for which he received community service, while the co-defendant had previously been given the Probation Act for a public order offence.

Judge O'Connor had warned the pair, who were accompanied to court by parents, that the case warranted custodial sentences.

Two adult co-defendants, including one who is alleged to have hit the victim, are awaiting trial in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.