herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Crime reporter was in fear when robbed of phones by boy (17)

A DUBLIN youth who threatened a crime reporter with a knife during a terrifying robbery has been given a nine-month jail sentence.

REPEAT offender Stewart Whelan (18), of Buttercup Park, in Darndale, pleaded guilty to the robbery of two phones from Cathal McMahon, at Moateview Avenue, in north Dublin, on June 16 last year.

Whelan was 17 at the time, but has since reached adulthood.

Garda Deirdre McInerney told Judge Ann Ryan at the Dublin Children's Court that Whelan robbed McMahon of an Apple iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy. She said the teen threatened the Mirror reporter with a small knife "and Cathal McMahon was in fear".

The teenager also admitted stealing another phone from a woman after he "lunged" at her, at Bayside DART station in north Dublin, on September 3 last year.

Judge Ryan was told that the youth already had 46 prior convictions and was currently serving a sentence from which he will be released in August.

The youth's litany of previous offences included possessing an article as a weapon, thefts and burglary.

Defence solicitor John Quinn said the youth wanted his case to be finalised.

Judge Ryan said a probation report on the teen showed that he had done well when he was at a training course and addiction counselling.

However, she added: "Getting you to attend is the problem."

She said she hoped he will have learned a lesson by the time he is released, adding that now he is an adult he would not get the same level of support.

The judge gave him a nine-month custodial sentence for the robbery of Mr McMahon.

"To do what you did and threaten someone with a knife, it is bad enough that property was taken, but to put him in such fear, the court would consider it to be an extremely serious matter," she said.

For the theft at the DART station, she gave him a nine-month suspended sentence.

hnews@herald.ie

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