Teen spent over €2,000 on Grafton Street with stolen bank card

Dublin's Grafton Street
Dublin's Grafton Street

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who spent more than €2,000 in shops on Dublin’s Grafton Street using a stolen bank card, has been warned he is facing a sentence of up to a year.

The Dublin Children's Court heard that the 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 at the Dublin Children's Court. The teen used a stolen bank card to make the purchases on Aug. 13 last, the court heard.

The boy purchased two mobile phones worth €1,579 in total at a Vodafone shop and then went to Fields Jewellers and bought a watch which cost €645. He then spent €30 at The North Face 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.

Defence counsel Beatrice Vance said that the boy’s offences were committed last year.

He is now 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 believed he also turns up at his course after using cannabis.

The teenager, who is care, was accompanied to court by a youth worker from his accommodation and his social worker.

Ms Vance said she tried to explain to him the court’s attitude in relation to drug use and if there was willingness to engage with support services it would be to his benefit.

She pleaded with the court to see if the boy will engage with his educational course which she argued would demonstrate he is willing to put some structure into his life.

Judge O’Connor 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 replied.

Referring to the latest negative probation report, the judge warned him: “If you give me a report like that again, I have no alternative but to give a custodial sentence.

He said that it could be up to one year less some time due to mitigating factors.

An alternative to custody would require him to engage with the Probation Service and get a good report, the judge 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 and he had a chaotic youth but is now in care.

The case resumes later this month.