NewsCrime Desk

Teen pleads guilty to punching woman in face to steal laptop in train station car park

Crime DeskBy Tom Tuite
Children's Court
Children's Court

A 16-year-old boy, who pummelled a young woman in a bid to steal her laptop after he followed her off a train, has been remanded on bail pending sentence by Dublin Children's Court.

He pleaded guilty to robbery of the woman, aged 19, at Donabate train station in north Co. Dublin on March 14 last year. Judge John O'Connor asked for a Probation Service report on the teen to be prepared and adjourned sentencing until May 25.

In an outline of the evidence, the court heard the young woman had boarded a train at Connolly station in the city-centre. Garda Brian Reidy said it was alleged that during her journey “the defendant was present on the train and observed that the injured party was on her own and watching her laptop”.

When she disembarked at Donabate she was followed into the station car park by the 16-year-old and another person, Gda Reidy alleged.

The court heard claims the boy grabbed on to her backpack which contained her laptop and “swung her to the ground”. Her bag broke as a result of the forced used.

Gda Reidy said the teen then “proceeded to punch to the face, causing injury to one side of her face, and to one of her arms”.

The laptop was stolen and he an alleged accomplice ran away said Gda Reidy who added that CCTV evidence has been obtained.

Gda Reidy 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 heard he did so because the woman “would not give up the laptop, that is why he hit her”.

Gda Reidy said that as a result of the incident the young woman no longer travels by train to get in and out of the city-centre and has to rely on lifts.

The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his lawyer, had no prior criminal convictions and at the time of the incident he had needed money to get back to his home, the judge heard.

Judge O'Connor warned him he would need to get a positive probation report to avoid a custodial sentence.

An 18-year-old youth has also been charged and must indicate how he will plead next month. The DPP has directed that his case should only stay at the district/juvenile court level if he pleads guilty. Otherwise his case should be dealt with at the higher level, in the circuit court.