Victim fights off teen mugger
A DUBLIN youth, who pulled a knife on a 58-year-old man during a mugging but was left running scared after the victim fought him off, has been spared a custodial sentence.
The 17-year-old was given 12-months' supervised probation after he pleaded guilty to attempted robbery of the man, at the Royal Canal Bank Walk, in Dublin 7 on April 5 last year.
Garda Ciaran Kavanagh told Judge John O'Connor at the Dublin Children's Court that the 58-year-old man had gone out for a walk and was followed by the boy, then aged 16.
“He pulled a knife on the injured party and demanded his iPhone which he had observed him using,” said Gda Kavanagh.
The court heard that the man had noticed the teenager following him and was ready for him.
He refused to give the teen his phone and began “striking out with a kick” at the teenager who became frightened and fled but was arrested a short time later "hiding in the bushes".
Judge O'Connor noted that following his arrest, the boy made admissions that he was trying to steal the man's phone.
The defence had asked the court to note that the 58-year-old did not suffer any injuries and the teenager's situation is now more stable than it had been at the time.
Judge O'Connor said it was a serious offence but he noted that the boy had “a very troubled time” then, and has pleaded guilty. Earlier he had also told the boy that he may have to consider imposing a custodial sentence.
Judge O'Connor was furnished with a probation report on the youth, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother.
Solicitor John Bermingham said that the youth is making efforts to get into a training course and willing to co-operate with the Probation Service, which has been helping him to address his offending.
Judge O'Connor said the victim was vulnerable but he noted the manner in which the teenager had met the case and had made admissions. The judge said the teenager has had a “difficult upbringing” but had shown empathy for the man he attempted to rob.
The Probation Service had concerns over the teen's lack of activities, leisure pursuits and education as well as his abuse of alcohol.
The judge warned that the boy could have been detained for the offence but he decided to sentence the teenager to probation.
Over the next 12 months, the teen must follow the advise of his probation officer to divert him from re-offending otherwise he could be brought back to the court which could then order his detention.