Saturday 16 December 2017

Teen (16) who is in care grabbed women by their hair to get their I phones

Girl told to get counselling or she faces a six-month sentence for robberies
Girl told to get counselling or she faces a six-month sentence for robberies

Tom Tuite

A TROUBLED 16-year-old girl, who took part in a spate of vicious phone robberies in Dublin city-centre, today agreed to go to a counselling service after being told the alternative was a six-month sentence.

Today at the Dublin Children's Court, Judge John O'Connor heard that the girl had been asked by her carers to attend a child and adolescent mental health service to help her deal with her problems, but she has refused to go.

Judge John O'Connor said the service the girl has turned down is one of the best available to deal with the girl's issues and he warned that he would impose a six-month sentence.

After a recess, defence solicitor Caroline Egan informed the court that the girl, who is in care, has now decided she will engage with the service.

Judge O'Connor said he will review the case in January when updated welfare reports on the girl are to be furnished to the court. “You have to convince me why I should not give you detention,” he told the girl, who remained silent during the hearing.

The teenager, who was accompanied to her case by her mother, social worker and guardian ad litem, was remanded on continuing bail.

The girl had earlier been described by the judge as vulnerable and he had said she had a lot of issues “both family and otherwise”.

An earlier Probation Service report has found that she is in “the high risk category of re-offending”.

Earlier, Judge O'Connor was told that on the morning of September 1 last year at St John Rogerson's Quay the girl approached a woman, “grabbed her by her hair with both hands and pulled her to the ground”.

The teen fled but was arrested at Custom House Quay but had flung a phone, which was taken from the woman, into the Liffey, “just prior to being stopped by gardai”.

On October 6 last year at the Liffey Boardwalk, she approached another woman “grabbed her by the air, took a mobile phone and fled”.

She also admitted robbery of a man who had his smart-phone taken during an incident in Dublin city-centre in September last year.

And the court heard that on another date, the girl, who has no prior criminal convictions, had been drunk and was “picking fights with members of the public”.

The girl has also got onto a a training course and attendance there has been made a condition of her bail.

In August, the court had heard that the girl had sparked massive concerns for her safety when she absconded from a children's care home for a week.

However, since then, the girl has remained at her accommodation.

As a condition of bail, the teen has also been ordered to obey a 8pm to 8am curfew at her care home and to sign on three times a day at her local garda station.

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