Case of youths accused of knifepoint robbery too serious for Children's Court

The case of two youths, who allegedly robbed a group of teenagers at knifepoint and threatened to kill them, is too serious to be dealt with in the Children’s Court a judge has ruled.

The 17-year-olds have been charged at the Children’s Court with taking part in the robbery which happened in their locality, in Ballybrack, in south Dublin, on the night of January 24 last.

In an outline of the allegations Judge Ann Ryan heard that one of the youths was allegedly armed with a Stanley blade and the other had pliers.

Detective Garda Alan Clear of Cabinteely station said that it was alleged that three teenage boys, aged between 17 and 19, had been approached by the youths.

One of the youths “produced a Stanley knife and told them to stop or he would kill them”.

“He put the knife to their faces,” he also said adding that the co-defendant went through the boys’ pockets.

Their mobile phones, some cash and their MP3 players, were allegedly taken during the robbery.

Judge Ann Ryan was told that the teenagers, who were known to the defendants, were warned not to report the incident to the gardaí.

One of the teenagers did not make a formal complaint.

Their lawyers pleaded for their cases to be retained in the juvenile court and not be sent to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which can, on conviction, impose lengthier sentences.

Under Section 75 of the Children Act the court can do so in cases involving serious allegations, by taking into consideration the age and level of maturity of the juvenile defendant – a person under the age of 18.

However, Judge Ryan held that “it is not an offence that should be dealt with in this court it is a much more serious offence and should be sent forward”.

The youths, who were accompanied to court by family members, were remanded on continuing bail to appear again in June when they are to be served with books of evidence and be returned for trial to the higher court.

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