Teenage mugger started drinking when he was 7

A teenage boy whose drinking first caused concerns when he was 7 has been given a five-month sentence over an assault and a mugging in Dublin City centre.

The 16-year-old, who has about 40 convictions, plea-ded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to breach of the peace, being drunk to an extent he was a danger to himself and others, and assaulting a man at Upper O’Connell St on Oct 6.

He also admitted robbery of another male at the Liffey boardwalk, on Sep 9 last. Both incidents happened after he had been released to appeal a six-month sentence handed down in August for a burglary. He later withdrew that appeal.

The robbery victim suffered a twisted ankle, a chipped tooth, a cut to his jaw as well as lacerations over and under one of his eyes.

The court heard that the boy had been drinking with two older men, one of whom confronted the victim. The teenager, who has often been banned from going to Dublin City centre, then joined in and punched the man as one of his accomplices stole a phone from him.

During an attack on O’Connell St a few weeks later, the boy, who was intoxicated at the time, struck a man in the face.

His prior criminal convictions include assault causing harm, robbery, trespassing, burglary, and having a knife as a weapon. He has been before the children’s court on several occasions throughout his teen years.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble told Judge Ann Ryan that the boy, who had been out of school, plans to use his time in custody to prepare for the Junior Cert.

He said all of the boy’s charges have been drink-fuelled. Background welfare reports on the teenager showed that concerns were first raised over his misuse of alcohol several years ago.

“When he was aged seven a bottle of vodka was found in his schoolbag,” said the defence lawyer.

Judge Ryan imposed a five-month sentence.

During his earlier cases, the court had heard there had been significant involvement between the HSE and the teen’s family who had problems controlling him.


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