Teen jailed over stolen card shopping spree

Teen jailed over stolen card shopping spree

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who spent more than €2,000 in shops on Dublin’s Grafton Street with a stolen bank card, has been given a six-month sentence.

The troubled teen had told the Dublin Children's Court he wanted to be sentenced and had shown during a number of hearings that he would not co-operate with the Probation Service.

Judge John O’Connor finalised the case today by imposing a 12-month detention-supervision order. This means the youth will be detained for six months and placed on supervised probation for six months after his release.

His mother was in tears as the case was finalised today. Two weeks ago there were similar scenes when he asked to go into custody and had his bail revoked.

Following pleas to reconsider from his distraught mother he told her, “I love you to bits but it has to be done”.

His solicitor Michelle Finan said that since coming out of a special care placement, “he has not been able to cope very well in the community, he has become addicted to drugs, he cannot cope”.

She said the boy’s mother was devastated while her son is in “a dark place”

Judge John O’Connor said the youth has “a fatalistic attitude”. He had also pointed out that it would not have been expected that custodial sentence would have been imposed but possibly community service instead.

The boy’s mother wept as she told the court her teenage son refused to accept help from a number of agencies to help him deal with his drug problem.

Earlier the court heard that the bank card owner had to borrow money to get by as a result of the teen’s spending spree.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty to theft offences after using a stolen bank card to make the purchases on Aug. 13 last.

He purchased two mobile phones worth €1,579 in total and then went to a jewellers and bought a watch which cost €645.

He then spent €30 at a clothes shop in Temple Bar.

Garda Cathal Feely said: “The injured party wanted to say to the court that ultimately his money was refunded from the bank, but he was left for quite a while with no money and had to borrow money from people”.

The teen has also admitted stealing €12 worth of cider cans from a Dublin city centre shop on Oct. 1 last and stealing a €300 bike at Sir John Rogerson Quay also in the city centre on a date last June.

At an earlier stage he had been attending an educational and training course but had recently been under the influence of cannabis during a scheduled meeting with his probation officer. It was also believed he was turning up at his course after using cannabis.

Earlier, Judge O’Connor said he noted the boy had a difficult upbringing and has been in care but he warned the boy he also had to take victim’s into account. “I know,” the boy had replied. Further negative probation reports would leave the court with no alternative but to give a custodial sentence, the teen was warned.

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 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; he had chaotic a youth and had been placed in care.