Teen for trial in connection with violent armed robbery

A teenage boy lured two youths into a robbery, held a knife to one of their throats and attacked both of them with a gas cylinder, it was alleged at the Dublin Children's Court heard today.

The 17-year-old boy, who is in care, has been charged with two counts of robbery and assault causing harm, at the Kylemore Road, in south Dublin, on March 11 last.

To determine whether the case would remain in the juvenile court or instead be sent forward to the Circuit Court, which has wider sentencing powers, Judge Bryan Smyth asked to hear an outline of the allegations as well as submissions from the defence.

Garda Wes Kenny told the judge it was alleged that two youths were lured by the boy and another individual to the scene.

“It is alleged that the accused punched one of the youths in the face, kicked him in the face, produced a large knife when he was on the ground, picked up a gas cylinder and struck both youths a number of times, when they were on the ground, to their legs and bodies,” he said.

Garda Kenny also said it was alleged that the defendant “held a knife to one of their throats and demanded property.” Bank cards, phones and house keys were allegedly taken in the robbery, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Maura Kiely made submissions under Section 75 of the Children Act pleading for the case to be retained in the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

This section of the legislation also sets out grounds where that court can deal with a case involving serious allegations, by taking into consideration the age and level of maturity of a juvenile defendant - a person under the age of 18.

Ms Kiely submitted that at the time of the alleged incident her client had been aged 16 and homeless. He had anger management difficulties which he has sought to remedy after he was placed in care in April.

She said the teen faced serious allegations but asked the court to note that at the time “his situation had been extremely chaotic.”

Background information on the boy submitted to the court by way of reports showed “he had an extremely turbulent situation growing up in relation to parents' difficulties.”

Ms Kiely also said the teen had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder but has recently begun a training course and is doing his best to stay out of trouble.

Giving his decision, Judge Smyth said he noted the defence submissions and the reports furnished to the court as well as Garda Kenny's outline of the prosecution evidence.

He refused jurisdiction to keep the case in the juvenile court.

The teenager, who was accompanied to his case by his social worker, was remanded on bail to appear again in two weeks when he is to be served with a book of evidence and sent forward for trial.

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