Wednesday 24 January 2018

Teenager who held woman in her own home re-admitted to bail pending sentence hearing

Tom Tuite

A TEENAGE boy, who held a young woman against her will in her own home as her partner was brought out at knife-point to get money, has been re-admitted to bail pending his sentence hearing in September.

A house on Botanic Avenue in north Dublin had been ransacked on April 27 last year and one of the occupants, a 21-year-old man, was taken away in his car to withdraw money from ATM machines, before he escaped.

The 16-year-old boy, who is in care, had pleaded guilty last November at the Dublin Children's Court to burglary, robbery and false imprisonment charges in connection with the traumatising incident.

He was due to be sentenced in September but last week Judge Ann Ryan was told that the teenager had broken his bail conditions by not residing at his care placement . She was told that on four previous occasions the boy had been warned in court that he would have to reside at his HSE accommodation.

Judge Ryan then remanded the teenager in custody for one week. He appeared again at the Children's Court today where Judge Ryan granted him bail on condition that he resides at accommodation provided to him by the HSE.

The boy, who was accompanied to his case by care staff, was ordered to appear again on a date in September when he is to be sentenced for his role in the house raid.

The court has already heard that the teen had “particularly complex past”; he had mental health issues, had been involved in suicidal ideation and at one point had been abusing drugs.

At an earlier hearing, last November, Garda Sergeant Denis O'Callaghan had told the court that five people pushed their way into a young couple's home.

The man was brought out at knife-point to get money from ATMs while two youths, including the accused, who was not armed, stayed with the woman, who is also in her early twenties.

The court had heard that the boy had a lesser role in the incident. A guardian ad litem appointed to the boy had said he was remorseful over his involvement in the raid.

She had said he had been involved in self harm and “suicidal ideation” and had come under the influence of another youth who was also in the care system at the time. The court had also heard that he had been through a number of care placements, two foster homes and had at one point he had been homeless. However, he has started attending counselling and psycho-therapy, and he began looking for a place in a training course.

The court has heard that he had a traumatic childhood but had never presented a problem to care staff. A childcare worker from the care facility where the teen resides had also said earlier that the boy came under the influence of another youth who had previously resided at the same unit.

That youth would “entice him to come out” as the boy pleaded with care staff to “come up with any excuse that I do not have to go out with him”, the Children's Court has heard.

The other youth would then tell the teenager “do not effing mind them”. The boy had been dabbling in hash but as a result of the presence of the other youth, the care home was “filled with tablets”.

She had also said his involvement in the raid was “completely out of character” and that he had expressed remorse for his victims.

And she had said that during the raid the teenager had told the woman “just relax and do not do anything, and would you like a cup of tea?”

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