Teenager who beat woman for her laptop at Dublin train station gets five months

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The woman was threatened that she would be stabbed if she did not hand over her laptop
The woman was threatened that she would be stabbed if she did not hand over her laptop

A 17-year-old boy, who pummelled a young woman in a bid to steal her laptop after he followed her from a train in Dublin, has been detained for five months.

The Co. Louth teen, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, pleaded guilty to the robbery of the 19-year-old woman at Donabate train station in north Co. Dublin on March 14 last year.

As result of the traumatising incident the young woman no longer travels by train to get in and out of the city-centre and has to rely on lifts from her parents, the Dublin Children's Court heard.

Judge John O'Connor described the drug-fuelled robbery as “pretty dreadful” and ordered that the youth will serve five months in custody followed by five months post-release supervision by the Probation Service.

The woman had boarded a train at Connolly station in the city-centre. Garda Brian Reidy said that during her journey the youth and an accomplice noticed her watching a film on her laptop computer.

When she disembarked at Donabate she was followed into the station car park, Gda Reidy said. “In his on words, he 'ballied up', referring to covering his face, and approached the injured party,” Gda Reidy said.

She was threatened that she would be stabbed if she did not hand over her laptop but she would not give it to them because it had a lot of her college work saved on it, Gda Reidy said.

The court heard the boy “punched her to the side of her face from behind, knocking her on the ground then ripped the laptop off her using so much force its straps ripped”.

She was screaming as she was beaten and suffered soft tissue damage to her face and arms.

Her laptop was stolen and the youth with his accomplice fled but CCTV evidence was obtained leading to his arrest.

Gda Reidy had also said that when interviewed the boy made admissions that he was the one who had been violent and that he had “punched and struck the injured party a number of blows using his fist, to the face”.

The court had heard at an earlier stage he did so because the woman “would not give up the laptop, that is why he hit her”.

The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother and a sibling, had no prior criminal convictions at the time of the incident and had needed money to get home, the court has also heard heard.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone asked the court to note the teenager's issues were all drug-related. He had taken part in training courses but “feels being in detention is the only place he has a chance of having some sort of future”. His drug abuse had also affected his relationship with his family, the court was told.

Finalising the case today Judge O'Connor noted that he has continued to come to garda attention. He also took into consideration the guilty plea, lack of prior criminal convictions, but said nothing seems to have worked to help with his drug problem.

An 18-year-old youth who had a lesser role in the incident is also before the courts in connection with the incident.