Raiders armed with knives threatened to chop off a woman’s fingers in front of her son and told her they would do the same to the boy during a traumatic burglary, a court has heard.
Yesterday a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because he is a juvenile, was refused bail after he was charged in connection with the incident at a house in Citywest Dublin.
He is accused of aggravated burglary at Belfry Green, on November 11, and he is also charged with unlawfully travelling as a passenger in a stolen vehicle on the same date.
Garda Kieran Kilcoyne told Judge John Coughlan at Dublin District Court that he was objecting to bail due to the seriousness of the offence and concerns that witnesses would be intimidated.
He told Judge Coughlan that a woman, who is in her mid-30s, had been at home with her 10-year-old son when they heard a loud bang outside their home at 7.50am. She tried to hold her front door shut but five males gained entry and “overpowered” her.
“She was then dragged to the kitchen by two or three males who tried to tie her hands with cable ties; one took a meat cleaver; the second took a steak knife,” Garda Kilcoyne told the court.
He said the gang put her hand flat on to a counter and threatened to cut her fingers off while the “injured party’s son was in her arms”. They then threatened to do the same to the boy, after which the woman and her son attempted to flee but the gang of burglars “dragged her back”.
Garda Kilcoyne described the incident as an “horrific ordeal of violence”.
The raiders threatened to kill her and her son, or to take him away if she did not tell them where money was kept in the house.
A phone, an iPad, a laptop, a BMW car, and €30,800 were taken during the incident, which lasted 20 minutes, the court heard.
Just the car and the phone have been recovered to date and Garda Kilcoyne feared witnesses would be intimidated.
“This is a complex investigation that might lead to further arrests,” the garda said.
The teenager was accompanied to a court by a relative and remained silent throughout the hearing. His counsel asked the judge to note that the boy had no previous convictions and his family could offer €500 cash for bail.
Garda Kilcoyne said that, when questioned, the boy admitted that his role in the burglary was to search the house while accomplices threatened the woman and her son.
However, the garda added: “I do not believe I am hearing the whole story.”
He also said the woman and child have been left “extremely traumatised”.
Judge Coughlan refused bail and remanded the teenager in custody to a juvenile detention centre. His next hearing will take place at the Dublin Children’s Court on Tuesday.
He had been arrested and charged on Thursday after which he made no reply. Another teenage boy, who was arrested on Thursday, was released without charge.
A 17-year-old boy was remanded in custody last week after he was charged with aggravated burglary and travelling in a stolen car in connection with the same incident. He has also been refused bail and will face his next hearing at Tallaght District Court next Friday.
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