THE trauma of having a home burgled is “like rape” a judge told a Dublin youth yesterday (TUE) as he gave him a nine-month sentence for stealing €8,000 worth of goods during a break-in.
The teenager, who has a history of taking part burglaries, had claimed he needed to commit the crime to repay a drug debt.
The 17-year-old boy stole mostly jewellery as well as laptops and other property when he broke into a woman's home at Galloping Green, Leopardstown, Co. Dublin, on May 24 last.
The youth, who had a drug problem has 14 prior criminal convictions many of which are for burglaries and was already serving a sentence with a release date in April next year.
The Dublin Children's Court heard yesterday (TUE) that he owned up to his part in the break-in after he was arrested and questioned about other burglaries.
None of the property has been recovered.
Defence solicitor Gareth Noble told Judge Patrick Clyne that since the teenager began his sentence for his other crimes, he has been taking part in an educational programme and has sought help for his drug problem.
In relation to the burglary, the defence solicitor said that the teenager had “associated with people who used his immaturity and difficulties with substance misuse issues to remedy a debt he had.”
“What was he on?” the judge enquired; the youth remained silent, but his lawyer replied: “mostly tablets”.
Judge Clyne told the teenager that the effects of a house burglary on victims is “like rape” adding “that is the way some people feel about it and the hurt it causes to a lot of people”.
He said the teenager's crime was very serious and hoped the youth understood that but he also noted his progress since being detained for his other offences.
“This is a clean slate,” said Judge Clyne and told the teen that the efforts he is making in detention should help him to find a job on his release,
He ordered the nine-month sentence would run concurrently with his existing sentences.