A DUBLIN man who stole five railway detonators from a train and then placed one on a DART line as a practical joke has claimed that his late father encouraged him in the prank.
Kai Reed (20) broke into the driver's cabin of a DART at Glenageary station before stealing the detonators, or warning signals, and placing one on the train track.
The device was removed from the rail track before any train passed over it.
A court heard that Reed now realises the seriousness of his actions.
The matter was before the court for sentencing after a judge ordered a probation report.
Judge Bridget Reilly said she will apply the probation act.
The defendant, of Dundela Haven in Sandycove, previously admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to stealing five DART warning signals, worth €600, from Glenageary Dart Station.
He had also admitted to trespassing on a driver's cabin between Dun Laoghaire Dart Station and Glenageary Dart Station at an unknown time between May 16 and May 17 last year.
Reed further admit ted to entering onto the DART line and placing a warning sign on the railway line at Glenageary on May 17, contrary to the Transport (Railway Infrastructure) Act, 2001.
Garda Sergeant Peadar McCann told the court the detonators make a loud bang when deployed, warning train drivers to make an emergency stop.
The court previously heard that Reed stole the detonators, the property of Irish Rail, after breaking into the train.
He was seen by railway staff placing a detonator on the railway line near Glenageary station and it was later removed.
The defendant told the court that his grandfather was a train driver and he claimed his late father encouraged him to commit the practical joke.
Defence lawyer Kim Moloney said the defendant, who has never been in trouble before, had apologised for his behaviour, and now realises the seriousness of the of fences.
Ms Moloney said Reed, who is unemployed and on social welfare, had brought €600 compensation to court.
Judge Reilly ordered the money should go to charity.
The judge told Reed his actions may have seemed like a funny prank, but rail accidents can be devastating, and Ireland is lucky that it has a very good safety record on the railways.