Friday 23 February 2018

Victim 'unwilling to help gardai' after petrol bomb attack on home

Tom Tuite

A PETROL bomb attack was launched against the home of a Dublin man after he reported a youth for smashing up his car with an axe during a violent incident, a court has heard.

The 17-year-old boy had been charged earlier with criminal damage to the vehicle which was damaged in Dublin city's south-side on December 22 last. The teenager had been refused bail two days later following objections from gardai

 

However, he was later granted bail in the High Court and appeared again at the Dublin Children's Court today.

 

Judge Ann Ryan asked to hear an outline of the allegations to determine whether the case should stay in the juvenile court or instead go forward to the Circuit Court which has tougher sentencing powers.

 

Garda Eoin Kane told the judge that during the incident one of the boy's relatives allegedly “produced a knife” and attempted to “slash” the car owner.

 

It was claimed that the boy was present and used a three-foot long axe to cause “extensive damage” to the man's car. The judge was told that it was alleged the boy, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, smashed all the windows and damaged the car's roof and bonnet.

 

It was estimated that about €3,000 worth of damages were caused to the vehicle which was forensically examined by gardai.

 

The car owner is now “unwilling to assist gardai” Gda Kane also said at which point Judge Ryan asked if the man has been placed under duress. Gda Kane said the boy had initially been remanded in custody on December 24 last and that night a petrol bomb was thrown at the man's home but did it not explode and caused minimal damage.

 

Two days later the alleged victim and another witness went to a garda station where they “made statements withdrawing their complaint”.

 

Gda Kane added that despite this the DPP has decided that the case against the boy for his role in the alleged incident should go ahead.

 

Judge Ryan noted that the petrol bomb attack happened while the boy was still in custody on remand and that he was facing a charge for criminal damage only.

 

But she deferred ruling on the issue of jurisdiction. She ordered disclosure of the prosecution's evidence to defence solicitor Gareth Noble who is to make submissions pleading for the case to be retained in the juvenile court.

 

The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, had not yet entered a plea. The boy did not address the court during today's first stage of the preliminary hearing and was ordered to appear again in four weeks.

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