'mob mentality' | 

Dublin teen pleads guilty after helping gang wreck taxi stopped at traffic lights

The accused, accompanied to court by a family member, has 20 criminal convictions, including theft-related and criminal damage

Tom TuiteIndependent.ie

A teenager got caught up in "mob mentality" when he helped a gang suddenly wreck a taxi after it stopped at traffic lights in central Dublin, a court has heard.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named due to his age, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court today to criminal damage on June 6, 2021, at South Great George's Street, D2.

Garda Conor Harrington told the court that the driver pulled up for a red light when two males, not including the accused, began jumping on his car roof.

Four others, including the boy, then aged 15, joined in jumping on top of the taxi.

CCTV captured the incident, and the footage was shown to the judge.

The court heard they caused €6,572 worth of damage and the driver was out of work for a week.

The garda agreed with defence Doireann McDonagh that the boy was not the main instigator, but he clarified that "the group as a whole" caused the damage. He did not believe the teen was intoxicated.

Two others are before the courts.

The accused, accompanied to court by a family member, has 20 criminal convictions, including theft-related and criminal damage, which resulted in the court placing him on supervised probation last year.

However, he was not subject to that order at the time of the taxi incident.

Counsel told the court that the boy had not taken part in an offence like it before.

The defence acknowledged he "got caught up in mob mentality; there is no excuse" but also maintained that older peers influenced him.

Asked his thoughts about the incident, the teen said it was stupid.

But he agreed with Judge Kelly that it was "more than stupid" for the driver who was making a living and possibly with a family to support.

The boy was remanded on bail to appear again in February for sentencing. The Probation Service will prepare a report to assess suitability for community service.


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