Thursday 22 February 2018

Teen to face trial accused of causing €100,000 arson damage to family home

Tom Tuite

A PRELIMINARY hearing will take place in January to decide the trial venue for a teenager accused of causing €100,000 worth of damages during an arson attack on his family home.

The boy, who is in his mid-teens, had been charged last month at the Dublin Children's Court after gardaí received directions from the DPP.

He is accused of assaulting a female at his family's home and criminally damaging the house by fire, which caused extensive damage to the interior of the property.

The alleged incident happened earlier this year and the boy “made no reply” when he was charged with the offences.

It is alleged the value of the damage was €100,000 and the DPP has recommended that the case was suitable to be dealt with in the juvenile court and not in the Circuit Court, which has wider sentencing powers.

However, a decision has not yet been made on where the case will ultimately be heard.

The boy no longer resides at the family home and was accompanied to court today by a staff member from his current accommodation.

His barrister, Aoife McNickle, told Judge Ann Ryan that she has yet to receive disclosure of the prosecution's evidence. The arresting garda told the court that it would be sent to the boy's lawyers ahead of his next hearing.

The teenager, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in four weeks.

The defence will then make submissions under Section 75 of the Children Act pleading for the case to be retained by the juvenile court.

This part of the legislation allows that court discretion to deal with a case involving a minor facing serious allegations by taking their age and level of maturity into consideration.

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