A 16-year-old Dublin girl has been charged with carrying out an armed robbery at a service station while brandishing an imitation gun made from duct tape.
The girl, who cannot be named because she is a minor, appeared at the Dublin Children’s Court.
She is charged with robbery of the Applegreen service station on Parnell Road, Dublin 12 of €179 in cash as well as €73 worth of cigarette papers on a date last January.
The teen faces an additional charge for production of an implement covered in black duct tape, shaped to look like a firearm during the raid. The second charge is contrary to the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.
Detective Garda Eoin Hickey told the court the girl “made no reply to charge after caution”. There was no objection to bail. She met gardaí at Crumlin station by appointment to be charged, Judge John Lindsay heard.
The Director of Public Prosecutions recommended the girl should face trial on indictment in the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers, unless she pleads guilty in the Children’s Court. The girl, who was accompanied to the hearing by her mother, was granted legal aid.
Her solicitor, Alice Jago asked the court to direct disclosure of prosecution evidence for a plea to be decided. Judge Lindsay granted the order and told the detective it must be done within eight weeks.
He ordered the girl to appear again in January when she will be expected to enter a plea. Even if she is to contest the case, she is entitled to a chance to have the case kept in the juvenile court. It has discretion to accept jurisdiction for the of a trial of a minor facing serious charges by taking into account a defendant’s age and level of maturity as well as other factors deemed relevant.