Wednesday 18 July 2018

Teen accused of punching Spanish student in face, robbing him told gardai 'he does not like foreigners'

Andrew Phelan

A teenager accused of punching a Spanish student in the face and robbing him told gardai he selected his alleged victim because he "doesn't like foreigners," a court heard.

Keith Delaney (18) allegedly robbed the young man of mobile phones and cash in the street.

Dublin District Court heard the student, who had arrived in Ireland just three days earlier, was left "shaken" by the incident.

Judge Michael Walsh refused to grant Mr Delaney bail and remanded him in custody.

The incident is alleged to have happened at Clarehall Avenue on August 23.

The prosecuting garda said he arrested the accused at Moatview Drive and he was brought to Coolock Garda Station, where he was detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act before being charged.

Gardai objected to bail, citing the nature and seriousness of the allegations and the potential maximum prison sentence on conviction.

Objecting to bail, the garda said it was alleged that the accused, from Templeview Avenue, Clarehall approached a Spanish student and punched him in the face before stealing two mobile phones - an iPhone and an Alcatel, and €20 in cash from him.

The victim was a student who had just arrived in Ireland and was "very shaken" by what happened, the garda said.

It was alleged the defendant was seen running away from the scene before a call about the robbery was received by the gardai.

The defendant was allegedly wearing the same clothes as had been described by the student and discarded one of the phones as he ran.

The phone was damaged during the foot chase.

The garda told the court the defendant made admissions after his arrest that he was a drug user and had had a €140 cannabis debt.

He alleged the accused had said he "chose to rob this person because they were a foreign national and he doesn't like foreigners," the garda said.

Mr Delaney had been "most co-operative" with the gardai and this "might have been to his own detriment," his solicitor said.

The defendant had declined to have a solicitor present while he was being interviewed by gardai.

Mr Delaney suffered from ADHD and had "other difficulties', his solicitor said.

The garda replied that he was not aware of this.

His solicitor said the drug debt referred to was an old one and he did not have it now.

He lived with his mother and was willing to abide by any conditions the court saw fit to impose, his solicitor said.

Judge Walsh said the strength of the alleged evidence was compelling and refused bail, remanding the defendant in custody to appear again in Cloverhill District Court on a date later this month.

The charge against the defendant is under Section 14 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

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