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Teen's go on trial charged with mugging woman who allegedly identified them on Facebook

Teen's go on trial charged with mugging woman who allegedly identified them on Facebook

TWO teenagers will go on trial in November charged with taking part in a vicious mugging of a woman in Dublin after they were allegedly identified on Facebook.

A 16-year-old boy and a girl, also aged 16, are charged with robbery in Balbriggan on Aug. 30 last year and appeared at the Dublin Children's Court.

They have pleaded not guilty and Judge John O'Connor ordered that their trial would take place in mid-November.

The pair, who cannot be named because they are minors, remain on bail.

In an outline of the allegations for purpose of ruling on jurisdiction, Garda Kevin Fitzpatrick had told Judge O'Connor earlier that the woman (31) was walking through a housing estate when she noticed 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 be sent forward to the higher court. Jurisdiction has also been accepted for the girl's case.