Teens accused of Dublin mugging tracked down by victim on Facebook, court hears

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Teens accused of Dublin mugging tracked down by victim on Facebook, court hears

TWO teenagers accused of taking part in a vicious mugging of a woman in Dublin were tracked down by the victim on Facebook, a court has heard.

A 16-year-old boy charged with the robbery in Balbriggan on August 30 last year appeared at the Dublin Children's Court for a preliminary hearing to decide his trial venue.

In an outline of the allegations for purpose of ruling on jurisdiction, Garda Kevin Fitzpatrick told Judge John O'Connor that the woman (31) was walking through a housing estate when she noticed a small group of teenagers behind her.

It would be alleged a girl asked her for a light and as the woman turned around the girl tried to grab her handbag from her shoulder.

It was alleged the boy was also present and grabbed the woman by her hair.

There was a struggle and it was also alleged the woman was "punched several times in the head" by the boy.

The court heard the woman claims the teenage boy also produced a knife and told her to "give me your money".

Her bag, which contained €90, house keys and her bank cards, was taken.

Gda Fitzpatrick said the boy and his co-accused were identified via Facebook where the woman allegedly saw photos of them which she then showed to gardai.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone pleaded with the judge to accept jurisdiction and not to send the case forward to the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

He asked the judge to note the boy, who is taking part in an educational and training course, and was aged 15 at the time of the incident.

Judge O'Connor accepted jurisdiction but said if the boy had been aged 17 the case would have been sent forward to the higher court.

Mr McKeone asked for a trial date to be set, meaning the teenager is going to contest the charge.

The youth, who was accompanied to court by his mother, was remanded on continuing bail.

The teenage girl has already pleaded not guilty. Their trial date will be set next week.