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Teen accused of punching and kicking woman at Luas stop for two minutes

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The woman had only been in Ireland a couple of days when she was set on at the Drimnagh Luas stop
The woman had only been in Ireland a couple of days when she was set on at the Drimnagh Luas stop

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has been served with a book of evidence and sent forward for trial accused of punching and kicking a South African woman for two minutes during an alleged robbery in Dublin.

The Dublin Children's Court heard that the woman, 41, had only been in Ireland a couple of days when she was set on at the Drimnagh Luas stop at about 6am on December 2 last year.

The then 15-year-old boy is charged with robbery of the woman and with burglary at a nearby pub less than an hour later. Judge John O'Connor viewed CCTV evidence and held that the boy's case must be sent forward to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.

Refusing jurisdiction he described the footage of the robbery incident as “a frightening thing to watch”. The teenager was served with a book of evidence and Judge O'Connor made an order sending him forward for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he will face his next hearing on November 27th.

The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, was further remanded in custody.

Garda Andrea Furlong showed the juvenile court CCTV footage and said it was alleged the boy went on “a crime spree” that morning. She told Judge O'Connor the woman became nervous and moved away when a person came staggering towards her at the Luas stop.

The video showed her being followed across the tracks and it was alleged the boy demanded her handbag and phone; then there was a struggle and he punched and kicked her for two minutes.

The court heard a witness approached to see if she was okay and boy – who was allegedly holding a broken bottle – told the complainant “not to say anything” and threatened her. It would also be claimed the boy “demanded she go to the canal for some reason”.

The woman refused to let go of her handbag and then struck him with it before he made off with her phone, it was alleged.

The teenager's mother had spoke up from the back of the court saying her son's face was not shown in the CCTV evidence and it was a case of mistaken identity.

Gda Furlong went on to show the court footage of a boy wearing the same clothing breaking into a nearby pub and causing "significant" damage to windows. She said the teen's DNA was recovered from the crime scene and later that morning the boy stole cigarettes and a drink from a shop.

The boy, who has not yet entered a plea, sat silently throughout the preliminary hearing. His solicitor Aenghus McCarthy pleaded with the court to accept jurisdiction and to note the woman did not suffer any physical injuries that needed hospital treatment.

However, Judge O'Connor held the case was too serious to be dealt with in the juvenile court.