Teen found with stolen bike avoids criminal record

Teen found with stolen bike avoids criminal record

A DUBLIN youth, who claimed he was given a customised road-racing bike three days before it was stolen from its rightful owner, has been spared a criminal record and a possible a custodial sentence.

The 16-year-old boy had pleaded not guilty to possessing the stolen €1,000 Boardman bike and went on trial at the Dublin Children's Court today 

The court heard gardai spotted him in Kilbarrack in Dublin on January 27th last year riding the distinctive bike three days after it had been stolen from its owner in a burglary. The teen claimed he had been given it as a present five days beforehand.

The teen fled on foot and was pepper-sprayed before he could be arrested, Garda Jason Flynn told Judge John O'Connor.

The juvenile court also heard the boy wet himself when he was arrested and he was very angry.  

The teen's mother insisted in court that she had bought the racer via Facebook for €100 five days before her son was arrested.

She said the owner must have been telling lies when he said he had reported to gardai that the theft of the Boardman bike happened on January 25th.

She claimed she didn't know anything about bikes and did not know think twice about the price.

Gda Flynn also said in evidence that the woman was extraordinarily abusive when the she came to Coolock garda station to collect her son.

The youth, who had no criminal convictions,  said he fled from gardai because he was frightened.

Judge John O'Connor said it was obvious that this bike had been stolen. He said the mother's naivety had been part of the problem in the case and told her that if “something seemed to good to be true then it must be”.

The teenager broke into outbursts at being convicted but later apologised.

Gda Flynn also spoke up for him and said that he has never been in trouble and unlike many of his peers has stayed in school and does not cause hassle in the community.

Damian McKeone BL, defending, asked the court to note the teen feared a criminal conviction could damage his job prospects.

Judge O'Connor noted the bike had been recovered and said the arrest and court process was a frightening experience. He marked the facts proven but struck