Teen told to pay for girl's haircut

A 13-year-old schoolboy, who set a girl’s hair on fire as they were travelling on a bus, has been ordered to write a letter of apology and to pay to get her hair restyled.

At the Dublin Children’s Court today Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin said she wanted him to save up from his own pocket money for the girl to get a “new hair do.” He was warned that if he was going “to commit crime he will pay for it.”

The boy pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the 17-year-old girl, while travelling on Dublin Bus, at Priorswood Road, in north Dublin, on October 17 last year. He was aged 12 at the time.

Judge Ni Chonduin heard he “was sitting behind the girl and lit her hair on fire with a match.”

The girl’s hair was set alight briefly but she did not suffer any skin burns.

Defence solicitor John Bermingham said the boy, who was accompanied to court by his parents, was sorry and understood his actions could have had serious consequences.

Judge Ni Chonduin remanded the teenager, who remained silent, on bail until a date next month for a probation report to be furnished.

“He has charges before the court at 13, that is very bad,” she said adding that it was “soul destroying seeing someone only 13 coming in here.”

She said the teenager was being influenced by older youths who led him into trouble while they were “smart enough to get away with it.”

On teen’s next court date he also face charges for criminal damage to a car, theft, burglary, trespassing and travelling as a passenger in a stolen car.

Special directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions are being sought on whether the prosecution for those alleged offences is to proceed in light of his young age.

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