Out of control teen thug sentenced for crime spree

CourtsBy Tom Tuite

A THEN 14-year-old boy, who mugged another teenager at knife-point during a crime spree, has been given a three-month custodial sentence by Judge John O'Connor at the Dublin Children's Court.

Judge O'Connor, who had described the boy as as “like something out of film”, said detention must be used as a last resort but added, “there comes a time when there is no alternative”.

In another incident the youth walked into a Dublin 8 pub and tried to walk out again with its television before he was stopped by the manager. Judge O'Connor said “it is like something out of a film, it's outrageous stuff”.

The judge said the repeat teen offender, who would not engage with the Probation Service, was abusing cannabis and tablets and had shown no clear desire to change his behaviour.

The boy, now aged 15, pleaded guilty to a litany of charges for robbery, attempted theft, criminal damage, theft, possession of cannabis, failing to turn up for a court hearing.

In addition to the custodial sentence, Judge O'Connor ordered that the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his solicitor, would remain on supervised probation for three months after he gets released.

He had just completed serving a sentence imposed in November for car theft and was in custody on remand pending his sentence hearing today.

He spoke briefly to tell the court when his last term in custody had ended.

Reacting to the sentence, the boy's mother wept as she told the court: “the kids were looking forward to him coming home this morning”.

The court heard that on September 24th last, the teenager mugged a 15-year-old boy in Inchicore in Dublin.

Garda Paul Geraghty said the boy, who was known the victim “produced a knife” and took a phone worth €600 from the youth.

On October 23rd last he entered the Black Lion pub and “took a TV from a wall as he was walking out and the manager stopped him”.

The teen stole groceries worth €32 over two successive dates in October.

He was caught possessing cannabis worth €10 on another date in the same month.

He stole a bicycle worth €350 from outside a petrol station on September 23rd last year.

On date last July he broke a window at a flat in his locality.

The court heard that he had shown disregard for bail conditions and the judge had commented that the teenager had been “completely and utterly out of control” and this included his demeanour in court on previous occasions.

The defence said the boy “wants to make a fresh start” and has shown genuine remorse for his actions.

The boy, who once stole a car and wrote it off in a crash, also has previous convictions for trespassing, threatening to cause criminal damage and other theft offences going back to 2014.

At one previous court hearing the boy, who had repeatedly broken bail conditions, had refused to take down his hood despite being asked by the judge and his mother to do as he was told.

“Yeah? F**k it, f**k you,” the boy had shouted along with, “I'm leaving the hood up, don't get me started”.

“Sentence me, I don't care, I don't give a f**k any more, this is b******s that's what it is,” he had said.

When further warned by the judge, the teenager had shouted: “I don't give a f**king b*****s, give me two years if you want”.