Saturday 21 April 2018

Teen who mugged heavily-pregnant woman to be sentenced

Tom Tuite

A TEENAGE boy who took part in in a horrific mugging of a heavily pregnant woman in north Dublin will be sentenced in November.

Today Judge John O'Connor ordered that the boy, aged 16, must take part in a crime diversion programme which will involve restorative justice work including “victim-offender mediation”.

A meeting which will be supervised by probation officers will be held where the boy and possibly the woman he mugged, or in her place another person who has been a victim, can discuss the impact of a crime.

Judge O'Connor noted that the latest pre-sentence report on the teenager was positive and it recommended sentencing him to six months' probation. But he said that before the court finalises the case, the teenager must engage in restorative justice work.

The woman was seven-and-a-half months pregnant and nearing her home when the vicious robbery took place, at Collins Park, on January 21 last.

The 16-year-old, who is on bail, had pleaded guilty to the robbery.

Garda James Nugent had told the court earlier that the pregnant woman had been speaking on her phone to her husband. Gda Nugent said the woman was visibly pregnant and as she neared her house, “she was approached by two males from behind.”

“They went either side of her and jostled her, she fell to the ground and sustained cuts and scrapes to her hands and face,” he had said adding that her phone was “taken off her forcibly”.

She had injuries to her neck and shoulder but did not require medical attention and her pregnancy was not affected, the court heard.

The woman's husband, who was in their home at the time, was able to hear her screams and went out to find her on the ground shaking, crying and in pain.

A tracker app on the stolen phone led gardai to the culprits.

Earlier, the 16-year-old had repeatedly broken bail terms and he has already spent time in custody on remand where behavioural assessments of him were carried out.

Defence counsel Aoife McNickle had said the boy comes from a stable family environment but had been assessed recently and found to have behavioural problems.

The teenager, who was accompanied to his hearing by his father, did not know the woman was pregnant and was horrified when he found out afterwards, the defence have said.

The boy, who lives in north Dublin, had been out of school but has recently returned to education, the court has also heard.

As a condition of bail, the teen must obey a 9.30pm to 8am curfew and sign on daily at his local garda station. He is also banned from associating with a number of other youths and has been barred from Dublin city-centre as a condition of his bail.

An 18-year-old co-defendant is also awaiting sentencing for his role in the robbery.


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