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Grafton Street

Teenage boy spent more than €2,000 in shops with stolen bank card

The 16-year-old told Dublin Children’s Court he wanted to be sentenced.

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who spent more than €2,000 in shops on Dublin’s Grafton Street with a stolen bank card, has been remanded in custody after a court heard he cannot cope with his drug problem.

The troubled teen told Dublin Children’s Court he wanted to be sentenced. Following pleas to reconsider from his distraught mother he told her, “I love you to bits but it has to be done.”

His solicitor Michelle Finan said that, since coming out of a special care placement, “he has not been able to cope very well in the community, he has become addicted to drugs, he cannot cope”.

She said the boy’s mother, who was in tears at the hearing, was devastated as her son is in “a dark place”.

Judge John O’Connor said the youth has “a fatalistic attitude” and seems to want to be sentenced. He also pointed out that it would not have been expected that custodial sentence would have been imposed but possibly community service instead.

He refused to finalise the case but remanded the boy in custody to appear again next month when he “may be in a better place”.

Drug problem 

The boy’s mother wept as she told the court her teenage son refused to accept help from a number of agencies to help him deal with his drug problem. The teenager hugged her and thanked the court as he was remanded in custody and escorted from the courtroom to await transfer to the Oberstown detention centre.

Earlier, the court heard that the bank card owner had to borrow money to get by as a result of the teen’s spending spree. The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty to theft offences after using a stolen bank card to make the purchases on 13 August 2016.

He purchased two mobile phones worth €1,579 in total at a Vodafone shop and then went to Fields Jewellers and bought a watch that cost €645. He then spent €30 at the North Face clothes shop in Temple Bar.

Garda Cathal Feely said: “The injured party wanted to say to the court that ultimately his money was refunded from the bank, but he was left for quite a while with no money and had to borrow money from people.”

The teen has also admitted stealing €12 worth of cider cans from a Dublin city centre shop on 1 October last and stealing a €300 bike at Sir John Rogerson Quay on a date last June.

At an earlier stage he had been attending an educational and training course but had recently been under the influence of cannabis during a scheduled meeting with his probation officer. It was believed he was turning up at his course after using cannabis.

Difficult upbringing 

Earlier, Judge O’Connor said he noted the boy had a difficult upbringing and has been in care but he warned the boy he also had to take the victim into account. “I know,” the boy had replied.

Further negative probation reports would leave the court with no alternative but to give a custodial sentence of up to one year, less some time due to mitigating factors, he warned.

The boy has also admitted other offences in Dublin including prowling at Ireland’s only Sikh temple. He pleaded guilty to trespassing with intent to commit an offence at the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple at Serpentine Avenue in Dublin 4 on 23 June last.

He also admitted unlawfully getting into a car at the same location and stealing a bag valued at €30 which contained a phone charger and an Indian passport.

The court heard he had also gone into the temple but nothing was taken inside. The boy also pleaded guilty to possessing a sharp piece of glass as a weapon, which he claimed was for his own protection, on a date in October at O’Connell Street. He was also caught carrying a blade at Jervis Street last June.

The court heard that the teenager had been homeless at the time and he had chaotic a youth but is now in care.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings. 

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