Thug knocked out 13-year-old boy's teeth in traumatising robbery to impress new pals
A DUBLIN youth, who knocked a 13-year-old boy's front teeth out with kicks and punches to impress his new friends, has been detained for five months.
The youth, aged 15, once a “student of the year” who began abusing cannabis and went out of control, pleaded guilty to the robbery in Inchicore in Dublin in April which left the young victim traumatised.
Finalising the case at Dublin Children's Court, Judge John O'Connor imposed a 10-month detention-supervision order. The 15-year-old boy will serve a five-month sentence in a juvenile detention followed by a five-month period during which he will be allowed home on supervised probation.
Judge O'Connor was furnished with a victim impact statement which detailed how the drink and drug fuelled incident had a traumatising effect on the 13-year-old victim.
He noted that the boy “is afraid to go out by myself”. The victim was not present for the hearing but the court heard how he is now going to counselling and needs dental treatment.
The court heard his 15-year-old mugger, who showed no emotion during his sentencing, had been “drinking and smoking weed” on the day of the robbery. He wanted to take the younger boy's bike to sell to buy drugs and drink. A probation stated he was at a high risk of re-offending, Judge O'Connor noted.
He said the teenager has been out of control for the past year, went missing on 100 occasions – once for 24 days in a row.
Judge O'Connor said the boy “has issues in relation to substance abuse and peer group, a particularly appalling peer group, many of them well known to me, before this court”.
The youth, aged 14 at the time of the robbery, had already spent four months in custody on remand and has engaged well with the Probation Service and shown remorse but the judge said he needs to address his problems.
He said the teenager's life has been chaotic and would have received a lengthier sentence if he were older. He was also was warned he would serve another five-months in custody if he broke the terms of his post-release probation.
He also told the defendant, who remained silent, that he hoped he would use his time in custody to reflect on what he did to the younger boy which he described as “life changing”.
In evidence, Garda Stephen Farrelly said the defendant, who was accompanied to court by his mother, had 26 prior criminal convictions. Gda Farrelly said the young victim had been cycling home when he stopped outside a shop where the defendant, then aged 14, asked for a lift on the back of his bike.
During the cycle he asked the younger boy where he lived and the 13-year-old started to feel uncomfortable and would not tell him. He turned on to Tyrconnell Road where the youth knocked him off his bike and he fell to the ground.
The court was told the defendant pulled the boy's his jacket over his head and repeatedly punched and kicked him in the face and head, “knocking out his front teeth”. He then cycled off on the younger boy's bike, which was not recovered.
Gda Farrelly agreed with defence solicitor Brian Keenan that the teenage robber was readily identifiable from CCTV footage. At the time the teenager had no prior criminal convictions, however, he had been on bail in relation to other charges. When arrested and questioned he made no admissions.
In June he received a two-month sentence for a litany of offences stretching back to November last year – which included stealing a garda's uniform.
He had 15 convictions for theft, two for burglaries as well as assault, handling stolen property and interfering with a vehicle.
Mr Keenan told the court the teen had once been a student of the year but he spiralled out of control through a peer group he should not have been associating with and which led him into offending. Some of his peers were present at the time of the robbery, the court heard.
Mr Keenan also asked the court to note the teenager pleaded guilty at an early stage.
The teenager had also developed a problem with cannabis and had little involvement with his father, the court was told. Mr Keenan said he had been asked by defendant to convey his apologies and the youth accepts the incident would have been terrifying for the victim.
He also admitted trying to take a moped from an apartment building in March.