Saturday 16 December 2017

Temple Bar ‘honey trap’ girl walks free after witness fails to show

Tom Tuite

A TEENAGE mother-of-one has been cleared of taking part in a "honey trap" style theft during which a man was allegedly offered sex in Temple Bar in Dublin.

The teen, who is from Romania, came to Ireland about a year ago without any parents and had been living with extended family members in Dublin. However, her mother later joined her in Dublin.

She had pleaded not guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to stealing €40, a gold necklace and a mobile phone from a man at Bloom's Lane, in Temple Bar, on September 1 last. She was aged 17 at the time but has just turned 18.

Her trial was due to take place this afternoon, but when the case was called prosecuting Garda Fiona Deevy said the man who allegedly had property stolen had not come to court to give evidence.

“My injured party has not turned up, he has failed to appear, he was witness summonsed,” she explained.

Judge Ann Ryan dismissed the case against the teenager who speaks little English and had the proceedings translated by an interpreter.

In an outline of the allegations given earlier, Garda Deevy had told Judge Ryan that it would be alleged that the girl “was with a group of female Romanians that were engaged in the Temple Bar area offering males sex”.

“They brought this male down a lane and distracted him and stole a gold chain, €40 and a Nokia phone from him,” she had said.

The court has also heard that the HSE had previously carried out a child protection assessment of the girl and found that there were no welfare concerns and it was not intended to take her or her baby into care.

Before the mother joined her in Dublin, the girl had been in Ireland without any parental support and living in Dublin with extended family members, in “overcrowded accommodation”.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble had said earlier that since February there have been six referrals to the HSE, on four occasions from gardai and twice from the Children's Court.

The teenager had also pleaded not guilty to another charge for stealing a wallet containing E80 from a man at Fleet Street, in Dublin city-centre on August 18 last. However, the complainant in that case has since left the country.

Judge Ryan also dismissed that charge today along with another for an attempted theft at O'Connell Bridge on August 25 last. The main civilian witness for the prosecution in that matter did not turn up for the hearing either.

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