guilty | 

Dublin boy (17) demanded €700 from woman and threatened to petrol bomb her home

The youth denied the charges and faced a hearing before Judge Paul Kelly, who held the State had proved its case against the youth.

The Children's Court in Smithfield


A 17-year-old Dublin boy has been found guilty of an extortion attempt with threats to petrol bomb a mother's home.

The Dublin Children's Court heard the youth, who had previously been friendly with the victim's son, demanded money and a video games console.

He was charged under section 17 of the Public Order Act for making an unwarranted demand with menaces for €700 and a PlayStation.

He is also accused of threatening to damage her house in Blanchardstown in Dublin.

He denied the charges and faced a hearing before Judge Paul Kelly, who held the State had proved its case against the youth.

The victim told the court that there had been an earlier incident at her house in which her front window was smashed.

The defendant came to her house and told her, "I'm sorry that someone did that, smashed your window", and continued that her son owed him €700.

She alleged the youth then said that if he did not get the money and a PlayStation, "in the next 24 hours or I'm going to petrol bomb the house".

She told the court a second person was with the boy, but she added that he remained silent.

The teen had previously been friends with her son.

Asked how it made her feel, she replied: "Scared. I'm still scared."

Her father arrived to block up the broken window.

He told the court that he heard the teenage defendant saying his grandson owed money, but he told the boy the guards were on the way.

He said the teenager started to move on and said, "We'll be back; we'll petrol bomb the house".

The teen, in evidence, denied making the threat but claimed he had gone to the house after hearing a rumour and that people were saying he had broken her window.

He claimed he went there to say he did not do it and to clear his name. However, he denied making the threat and said the unidentified person with him spoke, "but I don't remember what he said".

Garda Katie Callaghan told the court she interviewed the teenage defendant who placed himself at the scene, but he made no admissions. He also told gardai the woman's son had fallen out with one of his friends, and "we don't talk anymore".

Judge Kelly found him guilty but noted he had no prior convictions and was still in education. The boy, accompanied to court by his mother, was remanded on bail pending preparing a pre-sentence probation report.

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