Judge calls for progress in teen 'mystery tour' case

A 16-year-old’s bundle of 27 charges was today compared to a “mystery tour” by a judge who insisted that progress was needed in the case in which pleas had not been entered despite several court appearances.

The Dublin Children’s Court heard that the boy is facing charges for public order, motoring theft, thefts from shops and a robbery charge while armed with a corkscrew, allegedly committed over the last year. Some 22 gardaí have brought charges against him.

He has been given bail 17 times and one charge had been before the court 10 times without a plea being entered by the defendant. The court heard that before today four other judges had dealt with some of the teenager’s charges. The boy has pleaded guilty to about half of the offences and but had not entered a plea to the remaining charges.

Judge David Anderson said bundle of charge sheets and bail bonds were “mystery tour”

After spending nearly an hour of examining the charges sheets, he also said an “inordinate amount” of probation reports on the teen had already been furnished to the court. He insisted that case needed “to make some progress.”

Not guilty pleas were then entered by the teen in respect of a number of car theft related offences as well as charges for assault and theft of money from a care home where he used to live.

The judge remanded the teenager for a hearing on all these matters next month. Two afternoons of the court sitting has been set aside to deal with the bulk of his charges facing him.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, remained silent for the case.

The court heard that during one incident he stole money from a petty cash box in a care home. It is also alleged he “produced a corkscrew” and robbed a man of €15, in Summerhill, in north inner city Dublin, on November 24 last.

The teenager is on bail subject to conditions. He has been ordered to obey a curfew to be in his home between 10pm and 7am and attend a drug addiction rehabilitation programme. The teenager is to receive assistance from a care unit in his efforts to remain drug free.

Earlier the court the teen’s mother branded the Health Service Executive a “joke” for not helping him. The mother had said that she knew her son, who has educational difficulties, had to take responsibility for his crimes. However, she angrily criticised the HSE for not helping when its intervention was needed.

The boy had earlier been put into a community care home where he stayed for two years until the placement broke down. During that period he was arrested repeatedly.

His mother claimed that while in the care facility he had been out “until two, three, four, and even six in the morning, off his head on drugs.”

“I’m so angry every copper in Store Street station has a charge against him,” she had said.

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