A 15-year-old Dublin boy has been sent forward for trial accused of being in a demolition gang of burglars who allegedly knocked down an interior house wall in a bid to remove a safe and steal jewellery.
Judge John O’Connor was told at the Dublin Children’s Court that the case goes “beyond a normal ransacking” and other members of the boy’s family were believed to have been involved.
The boy, who cannot be named as he is a minor, is charged with burglary at an address at The Park, Highlands, in Drogheda, on October 31, when he was aged 14. He also faces a second charge for attempted burglary at another address on the same date.
The DPP recommended that despite his age, the boy should be tried in the circuit court, which can impose lengthier sentences, and after hearing an outline of the allegations, Judge John O’Connor refused jurisdiction in the Children’s Court.
The boy was served with a book of evidence yesterday before Judge O’Connor made an order sending him forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he will face his next hearing on October 23.
The boy, who has not yet entered a plea, was accompanied to court by his mother, and was remanded on bail pending trial.
In an outline of the allegations, Detective Mary Moore, of the Garda Drug and Organised Crime Bureau, had told the Children’s Court that confidential information was received and an operation was put in place. A car which had changed its registration plates was observed acting suspiciously in a Drogheda housing estate.
It was alleged the gang smashed their way into a house via a patio door. There was a safe situated under the stairs and the burglars knocked down a wall to get to it, Det Gda Moore said. The safe containing some €1,049 worth of jewellery was taken and there was some €4,500 worth of damages.
It was alleged the gang approached another house nearby but the woman living there noticed them and they left. Det Garda Moore said the woman was left “quite distressed”.
The raiders’ car was stopped by gardaí and the three people in it, including the boy, were wearing dark clothes and black balaclavas, and there were tools including screwdrivers and nail bars, Det Garda Moore alleged.
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