Friday 24 November 2017

Judge hits knuckle duster teen in the pocket with fine

Tom Tuite

A YOUTH who was found in possession of knuckle-dusters during a public order disturbance, has been ordered to pay €100 charity after a judge said "I always hit the pocket".

The 17-year-old admitted having the hand-worn weapon on him during an incident at Emmett Road, in Dublin 8, on a date in January and he also pleaded guilty to a connected breach of the peace charge.

Garda Gemma Bannon told Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin at the Dublin Children's Court that the teenager had been “acting in an aggressive manner and shouting”. She said the teenager made no reply after he was charged and added that he had no prior criminal convictions.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan said the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by a relative, had at one point become “estranged” from his family and began getting into trouble. He has other charges “in the pipe line”, the court was also told.

He was grateful to the garda because if she had not intercepted him “matters could have out of hand”. The boy's lawyer also said the teenager had gone back to live with his family but is not in education or any form of training.

However, the judge noted that the teen was getting some part-time work through which it was hoped he would get an apprenticeship and learn a trade.

“I always hit the pocket,” the judge said adding that the boy was getting free legal aid and it cost money to process a court case.

She gave the teenager until a date in December to bring to court E100 which is to be donated to charity.

She said he would be spared a criminal conviction if he pays the money and does not re-offend. But she warned that he would get fines and a criminal record if he does not and if he skips court a custodial sentence would be imposed.

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