herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Boy with 49 convictions trashed car

A TEENAGE boy with 49 criminal convictions vandalised a car after he was released from custody to appeal a sentence, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old and his co-accused, another boy also aged 16, pleaded guilty at the Children's Court to causing criminal damage, on December 6 last, at the Royal Canal Bank, in north Dublin.

Garda Elaine O'Malley told Judge Ann Ryan that the defendant "threw a brick at the window of the car" while his accomplice starting jumping on the vehicle, resulting in ¤800 worth of damages being caused.

Judge Ryan heard that one of the boys had 49 criminal convictions including motor theft, criminal damage and theft. He had been given a six-year road ban and an eight-month custodial sentence on November 4 last.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said that the teenager was appealing that sentence. He also told the court that the boy "would be well known to the criminal justice system at this stage".

He had served some time in custody then when he was released pending his appeal, he met with friends and was under the influence of "certain substances". The teen had alcohol and substance abuse problems, the court also heard.

Mr Noble told the judge that the boy needed structure and something to do in the day time. The teen was trying to get a place on a training course and could benefit from carrying out community service as an alternative to custody, the solicitor submitted.

The co-defendant had 18 prior criminal convictions including burglary and criminal damage. He had served a three-month sentence last year.

His counsel Kate O'Toole told the court that alcohol abuse caused him to get into trouble. He is now attending addiction counselling for his drink and drug problem, she also said.

"This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable," said Judge Ryan. She adjourned sentencing the pair, who are on bail, until separate dates in February. The judge sought probation reports on their suitability to carry out 150 hours community service in lieu of five-month custodial sentences.

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