Sunday 20 January 2019

Boy (17) was under the influence of a 'large concoction of substances' when he took part in mugging, court hears

The Children's Court, Smithfield
The Children's Court, Smithfield

Tom Tuite

A DUBLIN youth was under the influence of a “large concoction of substances” when he and a gang of teens beat a man to the ground and mugged him in Dublin’s Temple Bar, a court has heard.

The victim was attacked and robbed after he refused to hand over his wallet and phone.

The 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to the robbery at 12.10am on Sept. 24, 2016 at Fownes Street after the man was chased from the Central Bank Plaza in the city-centre.

In evidence, Garda O’Mahoney told the court that he had been attached to a public order unit which had received a call to go to the Central Bank Plaza. The injured party informed him that “he had been beaten up and robbed by a number of youths”.

Garda Ciaran O’Mahoney said the man had cuts and bruises to his arms, legs and his face, and he was bleeding. His Samsung phone and his wallet containing his Leap card and €10 had been taken. Witnesses described how a group of youths approached the man and demanded his phone and wallet and when he refused they chased him to Fownes Street.

The defendant was one of group who had chased the man and beat him on to the ground and took his wallet and phone, the garda said.

The teenager was identified by witnesses and following his arrest he was taken to Pearse Street Garda Station.

Garda O’Mahoney agreed with defence solicitor Aonghus McCarthy that the boy “was highly intoxicated and agitated” and “was clearly under the influence of a large concoction of substances”.

He also agreed that the youth, who cannot be named because he is a minor, now appeared drastically different in terms of his respect to the gardai compared to when the incident happened.

The solicitor put it to him that the victim recovered from his injuries which were not long-lasting but the garda said the man still had mental injuries. “Last time I spoke to him he was still worried about going into town,” Garda O’Mahoney said.

However, the Garda accepted that the teen has since “turned his life around” since he was taken in and began living with a close friend’s family. The court was told the teen had no prior criminal convictions and is now abstaining from drugs.

Judge John O’Connor said that while drug use was an explanation for what happened it was not a mitigating factor but he accepted the teen had turned his life around. He adjourned the case to allow time for a victim impact statement to be prepared and for a pre-sentence probation report on the youth to be furnished to the court.

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