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Burglar teen (17) who dodged custody due to lack of space at Oberstown then skips court

He was due to face his second hearing today but there was no appearance.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

A 17-YEAR-old boy accused of ransacking an elderly man’s home, and who dodged custody on Wednesday due to a space shortage at a juvenile detention centre, skipped court today.

An engagement ring belonging to the pensioner’s deceased wife was allegedly stolen during a burglary in south Dublin. The widower is in his eighties.

On Wednesday at Dublin District Court, Judge John O’Connor had held that bail should be refused but he was forced to release the youth because there was no space available to hold him at the Oberstown detention centre, a situation he described as an embarrassment.

The Wicklow teenager, who was accompanied to that hearing by family members and his barrister, was then released subject to conditions. He was warned he had to sign on twice daily at his local garda station, obey a curfew and to remain out of several districts in south Dublin.

He was due to face his second hearing today but there was no appearance. The teen’s barrister Damian McKeone said his instructing solicitor had been trying to contact the youth.

Det Garda David Lestrange told the court the boy’s phone was not answering and officers from the local Garda station went to the teen’s home where his mother stated she had not seen him since Thursday.

Judge O’Connor acceded to Det Garda Lestrange’s application to issue a bench warrant for the youth’s arrest.

During a bail hearing on Wednesday, the seriousness of the allegation was cited by the detective in the objection to the 17-year-old boy getting bail.

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He was accused of burglary at the elderly man’s home on 6 April on the Stillorgan Road in south Dublin. It was alleged that €1,300 cash was taken along with jewellery including an engagement which belonged to the man’s late wife.

The elderly widower was not present at the time but arrived when raiders were leaving. Gardaí at Blackrock station were alerted.

The boy, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, cannot be named because he is a minor.

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Tom Tuite

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