A teenager, who vandalised supermarket vans needed for essential deliveries to about 1,000 vulnerable and elderly people at the start of the covid-19 crisis, has been spared a custodial sentence.
Footage of the damage was posted on social media by TD Josepha Madigan in March last year.
The vans were to be used to bring groceries to pensioners and other vulnerable category people cocooning indoors because of the coronavirus.
The boy, 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was today sentenced to nine months’ supervised probation when he appeared before Judge Bernadette Owens at the Dublin Children’s Court.
He had already admitted causing criminal damage to three delivery vans at SuperValu, in Ballinteer, Co. Dublin in the early hours of March 31 last. Earlier, Garda Aidan Keogh told the court that the youth made no reply when charged.
The boy, aged 15 at the time, was identified on CCTV footage walking around the forecourt and throwing traffic cones at windscreens on the vans.
It was estimated that €1,500 worth of damage was caused and the three vans were “taken off the road for repairs”.
The court has also heard that:“At the time they were used in the delivery of essential goods to vulnerable and elderly people.”
About 1,000 people were affected for a period of time.
He also admitted other offences: criminal damage, possessing a weapon, and assault.
Rocks onto M50 vehicles
The court heard that in the early hours of April 1st last year, the teenager was spotted on a flyover bridge of the M50 at a pile of debris.
He threw rocks onto the motorway causing damage to one passing vehicle’s rear tyre.
The court heard that on a date in February 2020 he was found carrying a knife.
On the night of March 28 last, he threw a rock at a passing Dublin Bus, which struck a passenger who suffered an injury but did not require medical attention.
He was identified from CCTV footage.
The youth, who was accompanied to court by care workers and his solicitor Brian Keenan, did not have any prior criminal convictions.
He also pleaded guilty today to causing criminal damage to a room at a hostel by setting a fire, and breaking a bus windscreen with a rock on other dates.
The court had heard the teenager also admitted smoking cannabis as well as regularly using cocaine and tablets, and going missing.
Ahead of his sentence hearing, bail conditions included a 9pm to 6am curfew, a residency condition, and they required him to provide gardai with a contact phone number. Updated probation and welfare reports were furnished to the court which had been monitoring his progress since last summer.
The teen, who is residing in a children’s home, must not re-offend and has to accept help from the Probation Service to divert him from re-offending. B
reaking these terms could result in him being brought back to court and facing a custodial sentence instead.