Monday 24 July 2017

Youth identified on Facebook for mugging woman says he was 'pressured' by girl

Stock picture
Stock picture

Tom Tuite

A Dublin youth, who was identified on Facebook after he took part in the vicious mugging of a woman in Dublin, will be sentenced next month.

The Dublin Children’s Court heard yesterday the terrified woman (31) moved house as a result of the robbery and was afraid to be on her own following the incident in Balbriggan on August 30, 2015.

The 17-year-old boy said he gave in to peer pressure put on him by a teenage girl when he took part in the mugging.

The court has also heard that the boy and a suspected accomplice were identified via Facebook after the woman allegedly saw photos of them on the website, which she then showed to gardai.

Earlier, the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, indicated he was contesting the case but, when the hearing was about to commence, his counsel told Judge John O’Connor that there was a guilty plea.

Garda Kevin Fitzpatrick told the judge the incident happened just after 1am, when the woman was walking through a housing estate. She was approached from behind by two boys and one girl, who were in their mid-teens at the time.

“One of them grabbed her handbag from her shoulder, a struggle ensued and she let go after a few minutes,” Gda Fitzpatrick said.

Her bag, which contained €90, house keys, make-up and her bank cards, was taken.

When later arrested, the youth made several admissions in relation to his involvement. Gda Fitzpatrick said the teenager told gardai he had been with a female co-accused “who wanted to go out robbing”. He said the boy told him he reluctantly went along with it.

The court heard that the woman was hit by a co-accused during the robbery, but the teenager refuted claims he had also hit her. He also denied producing a knife and said it was probably a pen.

The court heard the teenager had two vehicle theft convictions and two more relating to an unauthorised collection.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, remained silent during the hearing.

Giving her victim impact statement, the woman said she is now more weary, adding, “I would feel so unsafe”.

The judge described the robbery as “nasty” and told the victim he hoped nothing like that ever happened to her again.

He adjourned sentencing until February to allow a probation report to be prepared.

A teenage girl is due to face a hearing later this month in connection with the incident.

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