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Girl accused of stealing pensioner’s car on last chance to avoid sentence

Girl accused of stealing pensioner’s car on last chance to avoid sentence

A TEENAGE girl, who stole an 84-year-old man’s car in Dublin, has been given a last chance to avoid a custodial sentence.

The 17-year-old girl appeared at the Dublin Children's Court where she pleaded guilty to stealing a '13-reg car in the Swords area on Jan. 11 last.

She was arrested in the early hours of the following morning.

An updated pre-sentence probation report on the teen was furnished to the court today, however, Judge John O’Connor noted the elderly man did not want to provide a victim impact statement.

The girl, who has one prior criminal conviction for robbery, was accompanied to court by her father and her barrister. Judge O’Connor told her he was making a deferred detention order and adjourned the case until a date in January.

He warned that there were three options: a custodial sentence, a suspended sentence or a probation bond.

He sought an updated pre-sentence probation report on the girl who was ordered to attend more appointments with her probation officer, attend a mentoring programme for troubled young people and to stay in education which she recently resumed.

Today the girl, who was accompanied to court by her father and her barrister, also admitted having stolen property in the car – a quantity of tools and some 12 bottles of beer.

Last year, she was given a five-month custodial sentence followed by five months’ probation supervision after her release for taking part in a serious robbery in Dublin city-centre.

During that case the court had heard that social services had become involved to help the girl's father who had difficulty controlling the teen and she hung around with older youths.

Her father had said her schooling suffered while he tried to get her help and drug counselling from social services.

As a result of the car theft incident in January, the court has imposed bail conditions banning her from north Co. Dublin areas past the airport.

The teenager has also been ordered to obey a curfew.

A passenger in the pensioner’s stolen car was a repeat teen offender with a litany of convictions including motor theft who was sentenced to six months in a juvenile detention centre.

The sentence was imposed by the Children’s Court in March when the serial offender admitted unlawfully travelling in the car andpossessing stolen property.

He had repeatedly failed to engage with the Probation Service despite his mother’s efforts to get him to attend his appointments.

Judge O’Connor had said the boy had a fabulous mother, he had been given so many opportunities by the court and he had been offered the full help of the State to come to terms with his offending.

The judge had also remarked that every day in the Children's Court he deals with young people with issues who do not have support, however, the teenager did not fall into that category and “you have made a choice”.

The teenage boy has been given chances but had not changed, he had said.