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15-year-old motorcycle hijacker detained for five months

The boy was aged 14 at the time of the incident when he threatened to stab the victim and seized his motorbike.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy has been detained for five-months for a terrifying motorcycle hijacking in Dublin.

The boy was convicted by Judge Brendan Toale at the Dublin Children’s Court of unlawful seizure and theft of the €1,200 Honda moped, and driving without a licence or insurance on 2 March last year. He was aged 14 at the time of the incident when he threatened to stab the victim and seized his motorbike in the space of 10 seconds.

He denied the charges, but after conviction he expressed remorse. He has also been given a four year road ban in addition to the custodial sentence which was activated following a reprieve to monitor his behaviour.

The hijacked motorcyclist had told Judge Brendan Toale he had been leaving his workplace at the Naas Road Business Park at just after 4pm.

When he stopped at a speed ramp, he was approached by a young person, aged between 14 and 16, in a dark jacket with a fur hood.

The youth took the keys out of his scooter and said: “give me the bike or I will stab you”. The boy in the fur hood also held onto the handle bar.

A second youth approached him holding a glass bottle. He let go of his scooter and they grabbed from him and sped away.

It lasted 10 seconds, he estimated. CCTV footage of the incident was played in court.

Garda Scott O’Driscoll responded to reports of a teenager driving dangerously along the Grand Canal a couple of hours later. The teenager, wearing a coat with a fur hood, abandoned the moped and then jumped a fence, the court was told. The boy was arrested following a 40-minute search.

In evidence, Garda O’Driscoll said the teenager was the only one wearing the same clothes as the person in the CCTV footage of the hi-jacking.

Garda O’Driscoll also said he knew the teenager and recognised him in the CCTV footage from his demeanour.

A photo of the teenager, taken on the day of his arrest, and his clothing were exhibited in the hearing.

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Garda John Yates also told the court he saw the defendant driving the stolen moped.

Pleading for leniency, defence counsel Harriet Burgess said the boy feels bad about what happened. The court heard the boy wants to be in school and to take part in a community project to help divert young offenders.

He had also engaged with a bail support scheme, has family support and wanted to leave this behaviour behind him, counsel said. However, breaches of bail had been reported to court while he was awaiting finalisation of the case.

The boy had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and had also had to cope with bereavement, the court heard.

The teen, who had no prior criminal convictions, had been held on remand for three months prior to at an earlier stage after he repeatedly broke bail terms.

He had also been given another sentence which will expire in January for producing a hammer as a weapon during a row, an assault at a supermarket, and damaging a windowsill on a property.

About the author:

Tom Tuite

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