Wednesday 25 April 2018

‘Teen (17) tore hair from woman’s head during phone robbery,’ court told

By Tom Tuite

A YOUTH accused of tearing hair from a woman's head during violent phone snatch in Dublin city-centre has been granted bail.

The boy, aged 17, has been charged with robbery of a HTC mobile phone from a 27-year-old woman, on Monday evening at Beresford Place, Dublin 1.

He was held in custody following his arrest about ten minutes after the robbery and was brought before Dublin Children's Court this morning.

Garda Alan Power told Judge Ann Ryan that the youth made no reply when he was charged. He objected to bail on the grounds that the teen might abscond and not turn up for his trial.

Gda Power said it would be alleged that the youth, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, approached the woman and grabbed her phone which she was holding to her ear.

“He tore hair from her head,” Gda Power said adding that the incident was witnessed by a plain clothes garda. The teenager was pursued and arrested about ten minutes later in the city centre but the stolen phone, worth €480, was not recovered, Gda Power added.

The court heard that the youth had previously spent some time in custody but is now taking part in an educational course. Defence counsel Aoife McNickle asked for bail to be granted and said there was no evidence the boy would interfere with witnesses.

The lawyer said the teenager, would obey bail conditions, had a home to go to and his guardian had come to the case.

Judge Ryan said the allegation was “very serious” but agreed to grant bail to the youth. He was ordered to appear again on March 26 next and told that he must obey a curfew from 9pm to 7am, not consume alcohol or illegal drugs and sign on daily at his local garda station.

The boy, who was granted free legal aid, was also banned from loitering in the Dublin 1 and Dublin 2 areas and told he would be held in custody for the duration of the case if he broke the bail terms.

Directions from the DPP are being sought to help decide if his trial should be heard in the juvenile court or instead be dealt with in the Circuit Court, which has wider sentencing powers.

The youth, who thanked the judge for giving him bail, has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charge. Meanwhile the prosecution has been ordered to hand over copies of its evidence to the boy's lawyers.

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