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Gun teen in chipper hold-up is spared jail

A YOUTH who terrified staff at a takeaway when he brandished an imitation gun has been spared jail.

The 17-year-old boy, who is in care, pleaded guilty at the Children's Court to possessing an imitation firearm in Drumcondra, Dublin, on April 21 last.

Garda Caitriona Harrison told Judge Bryan Smyth that the teenager had gone into an Abrakebabra where he "placed a jumper over his head and produced a black imitation firearm".

Staff were terrified as he came to the counter and demanded "taco fries". Gardai were alerted, and the teen fled -- but he was identified from CCTV footage.

Last week he was given a five-year suspended sentence for his role in an aggravated burglary and yesterday Judge Smyth heard this would help deter the boy from reoffending.

The teenager was told that he must be supervised by a probation officer and engage in "victim focus work".

The boy was also warned that if he broke the terms of the bond he could be brought back to court and face a custodial sentence.

Earlier the court had heard that the teenager, who bought the imitation gun for €8, had realised the stupidity of his actions and how much he had frightened the staff at the restaurant.







Tablets

At the time of the incident the teen, who is living in HSE accommodation, had been abusing illegal tablets known as "blueys" which he had mixed with alcohol.

The court has heard that the teenager did not present difficulties in the care system, is now drug-free and is looking for a place on a training course.

The teenager had written a letter of apology to be passed on to the staff at the Abrakebabra restaurant.

Judge Smyth has ordered that the letter was to be forward on to the staff.

hnews@herald.ie


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