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Sikh temple prowling youth blew €2k on Grafton St with stolen card

Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple at Serpentine Avenue
Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple at Serpentine Avenue

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy spent more than €2,000 in shops on Dublin’s Grafton Street using a stolen bank card, a court has heard.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty to theft charges when he appeared at the Dublin Children's Court on Tuesday (MAY 2). Garda Anthony Brazil told the court that the teen used a stolen bank card on Aug. 13 last.

He boy purchased two mobile phones worth €1,579 in total at a Vodafone shop and then went to Fields Jewellers and bought a watch which cost €645. He then spent €30 at The North Face clothes shop in Temple Bar.

The teenager said he wanted his case “done and dusted” however Judge O’Connor said, after first telling the boy not to chew gum in court, that updated probation and social services reports would have to obtained.

One welfare report furnished to the court was described by defence counsel Damian McKeone as positive and he added that it shows the teenager has made great strides.

The teenager has also a place in educational course and is looking for work, the barrister said. Judge O’Connor noted the boy has quit taking a number of types of drugs except cannabis.

He warned the youth he was facing the possibility of a custodial sentence unless the next probation report is positive.

The boy has also admitted other offences in Dublin including prowling at Ireland's only Sikh temple. He pleaded guilty to trespassing with intent to commit an offence at the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple at Serpentine Avenue, D.4, on June 23 last.

He also admitted unlawfully getting into a car at the same location and stealing a bag valued €30 which contained a phone charger and an Indian passport.

The court heard he had also gone into the Temple but nothing was taken inside. The boy, who is now in care, also pleaded guilty to possessing a sharp piece of glass as a weapon, which he claimed was for his own protection, on a date in October at O'Connell Street. He was also caught carrying a blade at Jervis Street last June.

The court has heard that the teenager had been homeless at the time and he had chaotic a youth but is now in care.

The boy was accompanied to court by a youth worker from his care placement.

The case resumes in four weeks when he will appear again to face sentencing on all the charges.