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Teen escapes jail in revolting house burglary

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who took part in a burglary where a couple's home was ransacked and left covered in faeces, has been spared a custodial sentence.

The teen was the only one to be caught after he acted as a lookout while his accomplices "wrecked" a couple's home and then made off with €2,000 worth of goods, the Dublin Children's Court has heard.

The boy, who has no prior convictions, had pleaded guilty earlier to trespassing with intent to commit an attempted theft, at a house in north inner city Dublin, on a date in May 2009.

"There was faeces left around the house," a garda had told the court adding that the house was "wrecked" by the burglars.

Judge Clare Leonard agreed to follow the recommendations of a pre-sentence report on the teenager to place him on probation for six months.

She stipulated that the boy, who was accompanied to his case by his mother, must address his offending behaviour and "peer issues" with the help of his probation officer.

He was also ordered to continue attending an educational and training course.


Failure to comply with the terms of the bond or further offending could lead to the case being re-entered and a custodial sentence imposed.

In relation to the issue of compensation, the court had heard that the boy's family were of limited financial means and his mother was already in arrears with other bills.

Earlier in the case the boy, who gets €80 a week from a training course, and his mother had together brought €250 to court as compensation.

He had come voluntary to the gardai to confess his role in the break-in and admitted being present with two others who have not yet been identified.

Garda Donal Donaghue told the court that none of the stolen property was recovered and that a couple who had resided at the address have since moved out.

Earlier, the court had been told that the boy had "agreed to act as a sketch and keep an eye out as others went in".

In his statement to gardai the teen claimed he left the scene when he realised what they were doing in the house.