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Youth tore woman's hair out, court told

THE trial venue will be decided next month in the case of a youth accused of tearing hair from a woman's head during violent phone snatch in Dublin city centre.

The boy, aged 17, has been charged with robbing the 27-year-old woman, on the evening of February 25 at Beresford Place, Dublin 1.

Garda Alan Power told the Dublin Children's Court that the youth made no reply when he was charged.

Yesterday the boy made his second court appearance and Judge Anthony Halpin was told that the DPP's directions would be available in two weeks.

These are being sought to help decide if his trial should be heard in the juvenile court or instead be dealt with in the circuit court, which has wider sentencing powers.

Defence counsel Aoife McNicke also said that submissions are to be prepared pleading for the teen's case to be kept in the jurisdiction of the Children's Court.

Judge Halpin ordered the boy, who was accompanied to court by his father, to appear again in two weeks.

Gda Power has already said it would be alleged that the youth, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, approached the woman and grabbed her phone, which she was holding to her ear.

"He tore hair from her head," Gda Power had said, adding that the incident was witnessed by a plain-clothes garda.

The teenager was pursued and arrested about 10 minutes later in the city centre, but the stolen HTC mobile phone, worth €480, was not recovered, Gda Power had also said.

The court heard that the youth, who has not yet entered a plea, is taking part in an educational course.

The boy has been ordered to obey a curfew from 9pm to 7am, not consume alcohol or illegal drugs and sign on daily at his local garda station.

He has also been also banned from loitering in the Dublin 1 and Dublin 2 areas and told he would be held in custody for the duration of the case if he breaks the bail terms.