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Sunday 17 February 2019

Teen mugger was 'fed' drugs, alcohol when he was just 10

A judge has ordered the arrest of a teenage mugger who was
A judge has ordered the arrest of a teenage mugger who was "fed" drugs and alcohol from the age of 10 by his aunt and uncle. (stock photo)

A judge has ordered the arrest of a teenage mugger who was "fed" drugs and alcohol from the age of 10 by his aunt and uncle.

The then 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty in December to attempted robbery of a woman walking her dogs at Marina Village, Malahide, on the night of April 15, 2017.

Dublin Children's Court heard the teen and another male approached her and demanded money. She said she did not have any and they fled.

The boy was due to appear for sentencing yesterday, but did not turn up. Judge O'Connor issued a bench warrant.

At his previous hearing, Judge O'Connor had indicated he was minded to apply the Probation Act if the youth stayed out of trouble over Christmas and came back to court with a letter of apology.

Gda Matthew O'Connor had agreed with defence counsel Nora-Pat Stewart that the teen was remorseful when he was later interviewed at a care facil-ity and wanted to apologise.

Ms Stewart said he had a difficult upbringing. The boy's mother, who was present for the hearing last month, was 14 when she gave birth to him.

He went to live with the aunt and uncle, who gave him alcohol and drugs.

He was later placed in a care home, but while there he would be collected by men who brought him out to sell crack cocaine. He was then moved to another children's home outside Dublin.

Counsel said the teen was taking part in an educational course and had a girlfriend who was a good influence on him.

Recently turned 18, he hoped to get steady employment. He had a good relationship with his mother's partner who was like a father to him, Ms Stewart said.

Addressing the court, his mother said the boy was not aggressive and she had prayed he could turn his life around.

She described the incident as "totally out of character" for him, but he had been easily led.

She had spoken about her own health problems and added that her son "helps me with shopping and so much".

Coma

"He can see that without drink and drugs you can have a happy life," she said.

The boy's grandmother could not cope with him and left him on his own with his uncle.

"At 10, 11, 12, he had five overdoses and was in a coma at one stage," said the mother.

"It was a very bad coma, for a kid at 14, for having cocaine, Valium and some things I'm not too sure about myself.

"It was a list of endless tablets, he wasn't right for a week after it".

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