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Boy (13) accused of torturing hedgehog in 35-minute attack

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Hedgehogs are protected

Hedgehogs are protected

Hedgehogs are protected

A 13-year-old Dublin boy has appeared in court accused of torturing a hedgehog to death in a 35-minute attack.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was charged with animal cruelty offences in connection with the incident on the grounds of a north Co Dublin school on a night last September.

He also faces unrelated theft and public order charges.

The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his father and his solicitor Brian Keenan, was remanded on bail yesterday after he appeared at Dublin Children's Court.

The teenager was granted legal aid and ordered to appear again in July when he will be expected to formally indicate how he is going to plead.

A forensic psychologist's report on him is being prepared.

Garda Gemma Twohig told Judge Treasa Kelly the boy made no reply when she charged him with injuring a protected wild animal, and causing or permitting unnecessary suffering endangering the health and welfare of an animal.

The charges were contrary to the Wildlife Act and the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

The Director of Public Prosecutions recommended the case should be dealt with in the Children's Court.

Mr Keenan asked the judge to rule on the teen's trial venue and he added that because of his age the defence was anxious to get the case moved on quickly.

Gda Twohig said it was alleged the boy killed the hedgehog in the grounds of a school and there was CCTV of the incident.

It was alleged the boy was identified from the footage.

"This attack was quite lengthy," she said.

Judge Kelly accepted jurisdiction.

Stolen

Mr Keenan said he was going to obtain a report from a forensic psychology service. The teenager had been engaging well in a bail supervision scheme, the solicitor said.

The boy's father told the judge his son was "coming on very well" and he said "there is a big change in him, he is trying to get himself together".

The boy also faces charges for possessing a new stolen motorbike and theft of a small amount of cash on dates in October.

He is also accused of two public order offences on two dates earlier last year when he was aged 12.