Teen caught making bogus door-to-door collection for Fr Peter McVerry trust

A 15-year-old boy who was caught carrying out a bogus door-to-door collection pretending to raise money for homeless charity The Fr Peter McVerry trust, has been remanded on bail pending sentence.

The boy pleaded guilty to theft charges as well an offence under the Street and House to House Collection Act.

Judge John O'Connor heard at the Dublin Children's Court that the teenager had been going door to door in residential estate in Lucan, in Dublin, collecting for the Fr McVerry charity on Aug 18 last.

He had no permit for the unauthorised collection.

The court heard the youth, who has no prior criminal convictions, was also involved in shoplifting incidents.

He stole a curtain pole and window blinds worth €40 at a Harry Corry shop in November, a top worth €35 from Timberlands in December and €151 worth of toileteries from Boots on June 28 last at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.

In these thefts he was stopped by security as he passed all points of payment and the goods were recovered in a saleable conditions, the judge was told.

The juvenile court heard that on October 24 last he stole €225 worth of clothes from Arnotts in Dublin city-centre. The property was recovered but not in a saleable condition.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan asked the court to note that the boy is attending a project for troubled young people and attending counselling as a result of a tragic family bereavement which left him traumatised and in shock.

She asked that during the preparation of a pre-sentence report, the Probation Service would liaise with the youth project which has been helping the boy who spoke briefly to confirm he understood the charges.

She also asked the judge to note that the guilty plea meant witnesses did not have to come to court to give evidence.

Judge O'Connor said the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, may not appreciate the seriousness of the offences but they were serious charges

He warned the teenager he needed to get a positive probation report and that if he continued offending he risked going into custody.

The case was adjourned for five weeks.

The judge asked gardai to see if there would be victim impact statement from the charity in relation to the fake collection offence.

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