Monday 24 July 2017

Mother compared to ‘Oliver Twist’ admits bringing baby begging

Tom Tuite

A TEENAGE mother, who was compared by a judge to Oliver Twist used by a Fagin-like family, has admitted bringing her baby onto the streets begging.

Judge John O'Connor had said at the Dublin Children's Court that a welfare report on the 17-year-old girl revealed that she had been used by her extended family to beg and steal.

He has also said if it continues he will be calling on gardaí to investigate the family who are originally from Romania.

The teenage girl pleaded guilty today to charges under Section 247 of the Children Act for having the child with her in public places to induce people to give her money.

She made no reply when charged with the begging offences, which happened on December 13, December 20 and July 27 last, in Dublin city-centre.

Dublin Children's Court has heard that the girl, is a mother, and her partner is in jail.

Judge O'Connor remanded in her on continuing bail to appear again in four weeks when an updated pre-sentence probation report on the girl is to be furnished to the court.

She lives with extended family members who have been regularly changing addresses, the juvenile court has heard. The teen has also admitted stealing €21 worth of groceries from a supermarket in north Dublin on a date last November.

Judge O'Connor had heard that the Probation Service had outlined in a previous report that they had a number of concerns for the girl, who was accompanied to her hearing by her adult brother-in-law.

“It is like something out of Oliver Twist, a Fagin directing matters,” the judge has said.

He had said the Probation Service have previously been able to do a limited amount of work to help the teen whom he had described as being “as much a victim in this as anyone else”. “It is very worrying,” he had also stated.

The judge had told the girl's relative who attended the proceedings that he was concerned about the treatment of her by her extended family.

He had said welfare report on her “reveals how she has been effectively used from the point of view of begging and stealing.”

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