Car-jack accused teen avoids sentence

A then 13-year-old Dublin boy has been spared a custodial sentence for a terrifying car-jacking during which he beat a man to the head and body with a metal pole, writes Tom Tuite.

The boy, now aged 15, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty to unlawfully seizing and taking control of a 04 reg Ford Fiesta by force and being armed with a large metal pole during the incident in a residential area in Tallaght, in Dublin in August 2016.

He had been remanded in custody in July after he repeatedly broke bail terms which included a curfew condition.

Educational and welfare assessments of the boy were carried out and he was released a few weeks later after being included in a special bail supervision scheme with support from care workers.

The bail support officer told the court today that the boy had made significant progress over the past six months and had worked incredibly well with services offering help to him.

Judge O’Connor said a pre-sentence report on the boy by the Probation Service said because he had “various issues, there is nothing they can do”.

He said it was obviously a serious incident, adding that the victim had to be taken into consideration but he also pointed out that detention was a last resort in cases involving minors.

He said he was ordering a “conditional discharge” sparing the teen a custodial sentence and a conviction on condition he kept the peace for the next six months.

The boy and his mother thanked the judge following the conclusion of the case at a lengthy hearing today.

Earlier, Garda David Morris said the hi-jacking happened at about 8.15pm after a 22-year-old man drove into a residential estate.

A male friend of the same age and two 17-year-old girls were also travelling in the car.

The Ford Fiesta was stopped and confronted by a large group of youths including the accused. One of the boy’s friends punched the driver and his car keys were taken, the court heard.

The driver attempted to retrieve his keys at which point the boy “approached with a very large metal bar and began hitting him a number of times”.

The court heard the man was beaten on the head, chest, back and neck by the boy. The man and his passengers fled as the group of youths surrounded the car and then drove it away at speed, it is alleged.

The boy was a passenger in the Ford Fiesta when it was driven away, Gda Morris had said.

It was recovered at 11pm that night “after being smashed up and badly damaged”, Judge O’Connor was told. The boy was arrested on a later date and interviewed by gardai.

The teenager was also found guilty today of a dangerous driving incident in which he was arrested after a car was pursued and spun out of control.

He was, however, found not guilty of trespassing at a disused building during another incident.

He was caught near the premises and had been intoxicated.

His mother had contacted gardaí earlier that day out of fears he had gone there with other teens for a drugs party.



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