Thursday 22 February 2018

Gang almost ripped front door off hinges in attempted burglary, court told

Judge's gavel.
Judge's gavel.


A 17-year-old boy has been sent forward for trial accused of taking part in a burglary where a gang allegedly tried to force their way into the home of a south Dublin couple.

The Dublin Children's Court heard a woman was desperately dialling 999 while her husband struggled to keep out raiders who began to rip their front door off its hinges.

It has been held that the case was too serious for the juvenile court where today the youth was served with a book of evidence and returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court which has tougher sentencing powers.

The teen, who was accompanied to court by an adult sibling, has not yet yet entered a plea and was remanded on bail by Judge William Early pending his next hearing on July 31st.

He is charged with attempted burglary, burglary and motor theft, in connection with two incidents at Woodford Brewery Road and Wilson Road in Stillorgan on February 28 last year. He cannot be identified because he is still a juvenile.

At an earlier preliminary hearing, Garda Dermot Haugh had described the couple's statement as “harrowing”. He said it was alleged the woman heard knocking at her front door and looked out the peep-hole to see a young man standing outside.

She did not answer but the doorbell then rang and she went upstairs and alerted her husband, it was claimed. The garda said the couple then watched from an upstairs window as the same person approached the house, this time with two other people.

Gda Haugh said it was alleged the three of them then began to “force the front door while the husband attempted to keep it closed”.

He told his wife to dial 999 and he set off a panic alarm at which point the door was still being forced. “A screwdriver or crowbar came between the door and the frame,” the garda had said.

The court also heard that the home-owner “kept pushing back to prevent them coming in” and he let out shouts at the raiders but they ignored him and “continued to try to get in”. The man kept the door shut and it was badly damaged in the incident.

Afterwards, his wife suffered sleepless nights and was in fear every time there was a knock at their front door, the Children's Court has heard. Gda Haugh said the couple were “heavily traumatised”. The boy, who was aged 16 at the time, is also accused of taking part in another burglary that night during which a BMW car was stolen and a house ransacked.

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