Teens plead guilty to mugging Scottish tourist

Teens plead guilty to mugging Scottish tourist

TWO Dublin teenagers are awaiting sentence after they pleaded guilty to mugging a Scottish tourist in Temple Bar.

The boys, both aged 16, had originally not guilty to a charge of robbery from the man who had his wallet containing about €350 stolen at Essex St West on June 15 last year.

This required the victim to travel back to Ireland, in the middle of his holidays, to give evidence for the prosecution.

However, minutes before the trial was about to begin they changed their pleas to guilty.

Garda Bernard Maguire showed the court CCTV evidence of the man being surrounded by a gang and pushed against a window before he was struck to the head by a member of the group resulting in him falling to the ground. 

Neither of the defendants, who showed no remorse during the hearing, hit the man but were part of the gang that surrounded and jostled him on the street at 1.15am, the court heard.

Gda Maguire disagreed that the guilty pleas were of assistance to the prosecution saying he had all his witnesses ready for the trial. 

The teens had also been identified on CCTV footage, the court heard.

One of the boy's began grinning as the victim, Robert Robson, told the court that he recalled being surrounded and “it was fairly obvious it was not going to end well”. He said his jaw hurt and he was bruised afterwards.

It was his second trip to Dublin and “I was not planning to come back in a hurry, it is not something you would expect”. “You wouldn't advertise that,” he added.

“I'm not going to say it left me mentally scarred but I was pretty shaken up by it,” Mr Robson said.

Judge O'Connor said the man had a terrible experience. The court was told one of the boys had a prior conviction for theft for which he received community service, while the co-defendant had previously been given the Probation Act for a public order offence.

Judge O'Connor warned the pair, who were accompanied to court by parents, that he was not predetermining the matter but he warned the case warranted custodial sentences. 

It was adjourned for probation reports to be prepared.

Two adult co-defendants, including one who is alleged to have hit the victim, are awaiting trial in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.