Saturday 24 February 2018

Teenage burglar with ‘complex needs’ stole €4,500 from barber

The Children's Court, Smithfield
The Children's Court, Smithfield

Tom Tuite

A 15-year-old boy is awaiting sentencing for stealing €4,500 during a burglary.

Judge John O’Connor adjourned sentencing the teenager who has already spent a period in custody on remand. Bail was granted.

The teenager, who is in voluntary care, pleaded guilty to burglary at a barber’s premises in Swords on a date earlier this year.

Dublin Children’s Court heard he broke into the salon twice on the same day.

He first took money from a till and later returned and forced his way into the office where he found the safe.

He was identified after gardai obtained video evidence from security cameras.

The boy was warned that he will get a custodial sentence if he breaks his bail conditions, which he has done in the past.

The court heard he made some admissions but disputed the amount taken and has no previous criminal convictions.

While on remand in Obers-town detention centre, he behaved well and engaged with the staff.

Bail terms, including a 9pm to 7am curfew, were imposed by a judge last August 5.

The teenager had also been ordered to stay away from the Swords area and must cooperate with welfare agencies.

A solicitor for Tusla has told the court that the boy had complex needs and required stability.

He had done well while on remand in Oberstown. Going home was not in his best interests, and his mother was worried about him, the court heard.

Some of his problems related to his peers, and he needed to refrain from drug-taking, but the court also heard he had emotional and language issues.

The boy’s social worker said he had gone into voluntary care last year. His first placement worked well until another youth was sent there and the boy’s behaviour worsened.

He was then sent to a unit in the Midlands and later to another in Dublin. The social worker was of the view that the teenager was more at risk then, and he ran away from care in July and August.

The court heard the boy already has a pro-criminal peer group. His mother loves him and all her children but struggles to manage, the social worker said.

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