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Teen allegedly held knife to 90-year-old woman

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Teen allegedly held knife to 90-year-old woman

THE State has been granted two weeks to complete the book of evidence for the trial of a teenager accused of holding a knife to a 90-year-old woman during a burglary.

The Dublin Children's Court heard the elderly woman awoke in the middle of the night to find a person standing over her wielding a knife and demanding her jewellery.

The court was told the 15-year-old took rings from her fingers after he allegedly broke into the terrified woman's apartment in Dun Laoghaire in the early hours of April 6th last.

It has already been held the case was too serious to be dealt with in the Children's Court where the teenager appeared today to be served with a book of evidence.

However it has not yet been completed and Judge Deirdre Gearty acceded to a request form defence solicitor Aenghus McCarthy to ask the prosecution to expedite matters.

The case was adjourned for two weeks and the boy, who was accompanied to court by a relative, was further remanded in custody.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, was originally charged with possessing stolen property: a ladies watch, a half-eternity ring with flat diamond on a gold band and a full gold eternity ring and a four stone-diamond ring.

However, that was later substituted with burglary and knife possession charges and it was held that the case should go forward to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.

In an outline of the allegations Garda Peter O'Flynn had said the incident happened at 2am and the 90-year-old woman had been asleep.

“She woke up in her bed to find a young man standing over her holding a knife, he demanded money and jewellery,” he said. Gda O'Flynn said it would be alleged the youth took a watch from her bedside locker before noticing the terrified pensioner had three rings on her fingers.

“He demanded that she take them off, which she did,” said Gda O'Flynn, adding that the teenager then ransacked her room and went through her presses. It was alleged that when he left he the knife discarded on the ground outside the apartment building.

The defence had pleaded for the case to be kept in the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The boy's solicitor Aenghus McCarthy said the seriousness of the case could not be disputed.

He said the teenager's parents were deceased and until last year he had never come to the notice of gardai.

Mr McCarthy explained that the teenager admits handling the stolen property but denies being the perpetrator of the burglary. The boy, who had been living in a tent, was “found camping with the fruits of his labour”, he said. However jurisdiction was refused.