Teen with fake gun was turned in by his mum, court told

by Tom Tuite

A 16-year-old boy was arrested for carrying an imitation gun after his mother reported him to gardai, a court has heard.

He was given a three-month sentence for criminal damage incidents at Oberstown detention centre and for having a replica gun when he was stopped along the Grand Canal in Dublin.

The boy, who pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court, had 31 prior criminal convictions, Garda Leona Lennon said.

He admitted acts of criminal damage to a television, walls, a sofa and a video games console, costing about €2,000 in a recreation room for the youths at the detention centre.

A victim impact statement was provided by Damian Hernon, Head of Operations at Oberstown Children Detention Campus.

He said the incident which occurred earlier this year would have been very frightening for staff and he was glad no one, including the accused, was hurt. It took two or three days to get the room right again, he also said, and there was an impact for the young people there.

The boy also pleaded guilty to a Firearms Act charge for having the imitation gun at the Grand Canal in the city’s south-side on a date in August.

Garda Lennon said his previous offences included thefts, attempted theft, failing to appear in court, criminal damage, car theft, dangerous driving, stealing a bike, interfering with a vehicle, trespassing, attempted robbery and burglary.

The youth, who was accompanied to court by his father, did not address the court.

His solicitor Matthew Kenny said the boy pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

In the incident involving what the solicitor described as a pellet gun, “his mother called gardai when he left the house”.

He said the boy was on the “mid-level of behaviour” at Oberstown.

Pleading for leniency, he said the teen was “still a young man who needs to grow up fast”.

Judge John O’Connor said the starting out point would have been six months, but he noted the early plea of guilty and reduced it to a three-month custodial sentence.

The court also heard that he has another case that has yet to be finalised.


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