Thursday 17 January 2019

Boy (17) will face circuit court trial for two 'brutal' shop raids after being reported to gardai by his mother

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Tom Tuite

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy will face circuit court trial for two “brutal” shop raids in Dublin after he was reported to gardai by his mother.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, is accused of taking part in drug fuelled robberies at two corner shops on Feb. 5 last at Mercer Street and Bride Street in the south-side of central Dublin in which staff members were attacked and beaten with a pole and a glass bottle.

Judge John O’Connor heard submissions from the defence pleading for the case to remain in the jurisdiction of the Dublin Children’s Court.

Describing the incidents as brutal, he held that the robbery case was too serious and should be dealt with in the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers. The teen was further remanded in custody pending the preparation of a book of evidence.

The boy, then aged 16, had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs before he was arrested on the evening of Feb. 5 last after his mother contacted gardai. They were waiting at his house when he arrived back after he allegedly tried to rob the second shop.

In an outline of the allegations, Garda Kevin Cassidy told Judge O’Connor it was alleged at 5.20pm the boy and another male entered a shop at Mercer Street. A staff member was threatened, and the teen had a pole and repeatedly used it beat the shop worker, it was alleged.

The second raider, who was not before the court, was armed with syringe, the court heard during the preliminary hearing to decide the boy’s trial venue.

It was alleged they fled with €144 from the till and also took receipts. The shop worker was left cut, bleeding and bruised, the court heard.

It was alleged the teen went home and changed clothes and left again but his mother then alerted the gardai who went to the house. They saw the clothes which matched the description they had from the raid at the shop on Mercer Street.

It was alleged at 6.55pm the masked teen entered a shop at Bride Street armed with a glass bottle.

The court was told the teenager threatened the shop worker and smashed the bottle over his head and fled empty-handed.

The teenager returned home and the gardai were there waiting and arrested him. He told them had been under the influence of alcohol and Benzodiasepine tablets which he had been taking over a 24-hour period prior to the incidents, the court heard.

The garda accepted that had been a significant factor.

The defence pleaded for the case to remain in the juvenile court citing the teen’s educational, psychological and drug addiction issues. Defence solicitor Brian Keenan said the teen was “holding his hands up to both incident”.

However, refusing jurisdiction Judge John O’Connor agreed with the view of the DPP that the case should be sent to the higher court.

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