Thursday 23 November 2017

Burglar (13) hid under bed after raid on piggy bank

Tom Tuite

A 13-year-old burglar caught hiding under a bed after he tried to take children's piggy-bank money has been given a last chance to avoid a sentence.

The boy, who is now 14-years-old, has pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary in connection with a break-in at a south Dublin family's home, on a date in January last year.

The Dublin Children's Court had sought a probation report to see if he is suitable for taking part in a plan of restorative justice activities to divert him from crime.

Judge John O'Connor had said in April that he would look favourably on the case if the boy and his family co-operated with the Probation Service to address his offending behaviour.

However, when the case resumed yesterday, defence solicitor Brendan Aherne told Judge O'Connor that the latest pre-sentence report on the boy was negative and he had missed some appointments with his probation officer.

The boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, has also continued to come to garda attention.

Judge O'Connor said the boy faced a serious charge and had been given a chance to co-operate with the Probation Service.

If there is a continued lack of engagement it would limit the court's options and the offence warrants a six-month detention term, the judge told the teen, adding that “detention means a loss of freedom”.

He adjourned sentencing the teen, who is on bail until October, when an updated probation report will be furnished to the court.

Earlier, Garda Dwayne Conlon, of Pearse Street Station, told Judge O'Connor that he responded to a report of an intruder at a house. He met the owner, who explained that he had just returned to his home “and noticed the front window to his house had been forced open”.

“School bags had been emptied and items taken and placed in these bags, a piggy-bank and a jar of coins belonging to his children,” the garda said.

The home-owner “thought that the intruder was still there” and Garda Conlon found the teen “under the master bedroom bed”.

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