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‘Set up’ delivery man beaten with hurley during traumatic robbery

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy has been given a nine-month suspended sentence after he "set up" a delivery man who was beaten with a hurley during a traumatising premeditated robbery.

The teen had pleaded guilty earlier to robbery and assault causing harm to the man in west Dublin, in June last year.

In May, the boy spent a period in custody on remand for educational, substance abuse, psychological and psychiatric assessments of him to be carried out. He was also ordered to comply with a number of service including drug abuse counselling.

His case resumed at Dublin Children's Court today where Judge Ann Ryan was told that the deliveryman was out of work without pay for three weeks after the violent robbery.

He has continued to deliver food to the boy's address but is “in fear doing it, only doing it because he does not want to lose his job”.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said the boy was now “moving in the right direction” and while his engagement with the Probation Service was at a “very slow pace” he had not re-offended.

He also asked the court to note that the boy had no prior criminal convictions, does not face any other charges and is now involved in activities in a youth club. The teenager, who was accompanied to his sentence hearing by his mother, had also written a letter of apology to be passed on to the deliveryman.

The defence solicitor also said that it was suspected that other people were also involved in the robbery. The boy was aged 14 at the time and a youth worker had stated in a report that he was vulnerable. The court has already heard that he was coping with a bereavement when the attack occurred.

Judge Ryan said that the case could have been sent to the Circuit Court which can impose harsher penalties. She noted his guilty plea, efforts he has been making and that supports were in place to help him.

She imposed a nine-month sentence but suspended it on condition he doesn't re-offend and continues to accept help from his probation officer and other services for the next two years.

She also said the boy, who has been taking part in an educational programme, must read the victim impact report detailing the effect the robbery had on the deliveryman.

Garda Robert Fitzharris had said the boy rang up a local fast-food takeaway delivery service. The delivery man came with a food order and was met by the boy. The teen demanded money and the food from him, and also called two friends to help in the robbery. The back window of the man's car was also smashed.

The man handed over €10 but the boy “ demanded more”. The takeaway deliveryman was hit with a hurley and then beaten with it again when he refused to hand over his car keys.

He was left bruised on one of his legs and when met by Gda Fitzharris after the robbery he was “shaken and limping”.

It was believed that two others were involved in the robbery, but the boy took sole responsibility and claimed he had acted alone. Gda Fitzharris had said the robbery was premeditated and the victim had been “set up” by the teenage boy.