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Dublin teen sentenced for litany of crimes during "six months of madness"

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Court: The teen also faces six motor-theft related charges
Court: The teen also faces six motor-theft related charges

A DUBLIN youth has been given a custodial sentence for a litany of car theft and burglary offences which were described as taking place during “six months of madness”.

The 17-year-old boy's distraught mother wept in court as the six-month term was imposed at the Dublin Children's Court which was told the youth had been “heavily involved in the taking of tablets” at the time of his crime spree.

Judge John O'Connor said the boy had any extremely supportive family unlike many of the youths who come before the juvenile court. “The hardest thing today, is that your mother has to see this”. Judge O'Connor told him.

The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced six motor-theft related charges as well as charges for unlawfully getting into a vehicle, burglary, trespassing, possessing weapons, criminal damage and failing to stop for gardai.

Garda David Cronin told the Dublin Children's Court that on October 4 last year the teenager had been driving a car with which he was “doing doughnuts” in the middle of a road in west Dublin.

Gardai signalled him to stop and he “drove against us”. After a pursuit he and three other teenagers fled from the car.

The court heard that in the early hours of September 29 last the teenager had been a passenger in a stolen Toyota Corolla which was stolen in Palmerstown in Dublin which was eventually stopped in Co. Westmeath.

On July 16 last year he left his finger prints in car which was broken into on the Blackditch Road in Dublin. He hot-wired another car at Parkwest Avenue, Dublin, on May 19 last year and drove it a short distance.

His finger-prints were found on a Nissan Micra which had been stolen after it was hot-wired in south Dublin on June 15 last year.

On July 19 last year he broke into a school and stole €20.

Garda Michael McNulty gave evidence that the teenager was involved in two separate offences on October 22. He trespassed at a Ballyfermot school where he threatened a care taker and that night he was in a stolen car that led gardai on a chase.

He was a passenger in a stolen car and had a screwdriver as a weapon on October 26 last. The teenager was spotted travelling as a passenger in a stolen car a day beforehand.

On July 9 last year he was arrested in Dublin city-centre after he was spotted brandishing a knife, and he also had a Stanley blade hidden in the waistband of his underwear.

On another date he was found with implements for use in a theft: gloves, pliers and vice grips.

The court heard gardai caught him trespassing on a date in March last year and the remaining offence related to a public order incident last October.

He had four prior criminal convictions for robbery, burglary, possessing articles for use in a theft and criminal damage for which he received a sentence on October 28 last year.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone asked the court to note that since the boy was released in January he has not committed any more offences. He said that the incidents before the court “range over a period of six months of madness”. He also said the boy had been heavily abusing tablets at the time.

Judge O'Connor was furnished with a multi-disciplinary report from the Oberstown juvenile detention centre and from a pre-sentence report from the Probation Service. He told the boy “the level of crime you have committed is way beyond your years”. The teenager did not reply and showed no emotion during the hearing.

The judge also said there did not seem to be any great level of remorse for victims of his behaviour. 

The youth will also remain under supervision of the Probation Service for six months after his sentence ends, the judge ordered.