herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

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a JUDGE has ruled that a 16-year-old boy's €36,000 burglary spree trial is too serious to be be heard in a juvenile court.

The teenager has been charged at the Dublin Children's Court in connection with burglaries from October 28 - December 18 in the Tallaght area.

Judge John O'Connor held the case was too serious to be dealt with in juvenile court and ordered that it should go forward to the circuit court which can impose lengthier sentences. The ruling came came after hearing an outline of the prosecution evidence.

The teenager is charged with unlawful possession on December 18 last of €3,500 worth of stolen property which been taken from a house. Garda David Morris agreed the teenager is not accused of taking part in the burglary itself during which €16,000 worth of goods were taken.

The boy is also accused of burglary on October 28 at Tallaght Leisure Centre, on Fortunestown Way. Gda Morris said there was extensive interior damage caused and the building's CCTV system was "completely destroyed"

A safe containing €4,982 was taken and there was €18,242 worth of damages caused. Gda Morris also said the teenager was interviewed and fully admitted participating in the burglary.

Partially burned documents from the leisure centre were found at the boy's address.

The teen is accused of taking part in a burglary at the Jobstown Community Centre which occurred between November 7 and November 9 last. Gda Morris said the place was "completely ransacked" and its CCTV system destroyed. "There was a safe in the ground cut out with a small angle grinder at the scene," said Gda Morris. About €10,000 worth of damages were done.

Documents from the scene were found half burned in a pile of ashes in the teen's garden.

Gda Morris said the teenager admitted his role in the burglary.

The boy is also charged with burglary at the Little Children's Centre, at St Anne's primary school, in Tallaght, on December 5. Three internal doors were damaged, said Garda Morris adding that the teenager admitted his role and pointed himself out when he was shown CCTV footage.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone asked the judge to accept jurisdiction. He said the boy had done the Junior Certificate and had also work experience with good references. The teen, who was accompanied to the pre-trial hearing by his father, also planned to get onto a training course, the judge heard.

The lawyer said the boy did not have a drink or drug problem but had "dabbled" in "benzo" tablets. The court has also heard that the boy had no prior criminal convictions

The teenager had also been affected by the death of two people who were close to him, Judge O'Connor was told.

He held that the case should be sent to the higher court. The teenager was further remanded in custody until March 2 with consent to bail pending the preparation of a book of evidence.

He has been unable to take up bail because it has been stipulated that he must be able to reside outside the Tallaght area and he has not been able to propose a suitable address.

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