A youth, who subjected a mother and her teenage daughter to hours of terrifying rape and death threats, has been spared a custodial sentence.
The 16-year-old boy, who had been living in a care home close to the woman’s house, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to two counts of making threats to kill or cause serious harm.
Garda Eoin Morrison told the court the teenager had been living at a care home in Dublin which was close to the home of the woman and her child.
He said the woman and her daughter were in fear for their safety and were traumatised after the boy “made threats of murder, rape and sexual assault”.
Garda Morrison told the court the boy threatened to burn the mother alive and rape her on a date in April. The court heard he said he would sexually assault her daughter whom he had wrongly thought was aged four or five.
The court was told the teenager made admissions to garda about the threats to the woman. The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, made threats of strangulation, beating and sexual assault against her child, it was alleged.
It started when he began throwing objects at their home to harass the family.
The court was told he said would wrap a bag around the daughter’s neck and “throw her around like a rag doll”. It was alleged he told gardai he would act out the threats and he wanted them to feel threatened.
The youth twice replied “go fuck yourself” when charged.
Garda Morrison said when questioned the teenager had been insistent he meant his physical and sexual violence threats against the woman but not against her teenage daughter. The threats against the child “were to get under the mother’s skin”.
The woman used her phone to record the threats which have been played for the judge.
Delivering a victim impact statement, the woman told Judge Treasa Kelly the threats have caused “considerable emotional long lasting damage”. They now live in fear in their own home and thought they were going to be killed, she said.
The woman described how she had to stand in her kitchen dodging objects thrown at her but she recorded the youth to have evidence of the threats.
Simple noises cause anxiety now. Her daughter was not able to sleep afterwards and won’t go out on her own.
The Children’s Court head the boy had struggled with mental health issues for which he had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication. Due to his behaviour, however, 15 residential care homes, as well as foster placements would not accept him.
Counsel, Amy Deane, told the victim that she was instructed by the boy to apologise to her.
The teenager, who was accompanied to court by family members, also pleaded guilty to attempted theft of a bicycle and a car on the same date in May.
Tusla were also represented at the case in relation to proposals to help in the teen’s rehabilitation.
The teenager had spent over four months in custody on remand pending sentence.
Judge Treasa Kelly imposed an 18-month probation bond on the youth on the threat charge. A three-month sentence, backdated to May, when his bail was revoked, was given for the criminal damage.
The boy was accompanied to court by his mother who agreed to take him home. The teen must comply with directions of the Probation Service to help divert him from re-offending, otherwise the case could be re-entered and he would risk facing a custodial sentence instead.