Tuesday 16 January 2018

Sentence date set for hired teenage arsonist

Tom Tuite

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy, who claimed he was paid to carry out an arson attack on a car which caused €11,000 worth of damages, is to be sentenced next month.

The teenager has pleaded guilty at the Children's Court to criminal damage to a '04-reg Mercedes at St Joseph's Parade, Dorset St, in Dublin, on April 14 last year.

Today Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin adjourned sentencing to allow time for a probation report on the boy to be completed.

The teenager, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, was remanded on continuing bail and ordered to appear again on January 22 next.

After the arson, he was seen on CCTV footage going to a hospital to get treated for burns to his hands. He was later questioned by gardaí and made admissions.

Garda Jeremy Gibbons had said the teenager and an accomplice were brought from north Co. Dublin into the city-centre. “They set fire to the vehicle by smashing the window, pouring petrol in and setting fire to it,” Gda Gibbons had told the court.

The court has been told that the teenager is working with the Probation Service to address his offending. They had found that he is at moderate risk of committing more crimes within the next 12 months; his peer group, lack of education and alcohol issues were also identified as problems for him.

The HSE had also been providing assistance to the boy's family for a number of years, the court has heard.

The teen had prior convictions for not attending a court case, burglary, travelling in a stolen vehicle and robbery, for which he had been previously sentenced to probation.

The juvenile court has heard that the boy, who also admitted being involved in drink fuelled breach of the peace charge relating to a different incident, is due to take up a place on a training course.

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