A boy who crept into a woman’s bedroom before threatening her at knifepoint and stealing her phone and handbag has been ordered to stay away from anybody with a criminal record.
The boy, who is 17 years old, broke into the woman’s home in Letterkenny on July 18th last.
He was along with another man who both threatened the elderly woman who was alone in her bedroom.
The woman tried to call out to her son but the men told her to “shut her f***ing mouth.”
They fled with her handbag and phone and she noticed later that a laptop computer and a key was missing.
Later that evening Gardai came across three males acting suspiciously and one of them, the accused, handed over a bank card which later turned out to belong to a son of the woman who was robbed.
He was interviewed and eventually admitted to breaking into the woman’s home but would not reveal the name of his accomplice.
A victim impact statement was read out in court on behalf of the victim who admitted she was still suffering as a result of the break-in.
She said she was still nervous, had trouble sleeping, lies awake in bed in fear and is hoping to be rehoused.
“I also suffer from panic attacks because I know the two suspects are still out there,” she said.
Garda Joe English told the court that he knew the boy and that he was a good boxer who would chat away to him if he was not drinking.
Barrister Peter Nolan said his client was still a child who had suffered from alcohol trouble since he was fourteen.
The court was told the boy, who is currently being held in Oberstown Children’s Detention Centre in Lusk, Co Dublin, has a ‘moderate risk of reoffending’ in the next 12 months.
The break-in occurred when the boy was already on bail for other offenses.
“This was a violation of this woman home, privacy and her person. It was appalling,” said Mr. Nolan.
But he added that he appears to have done well in Oberstown House and ask the court to look at this as a way of dealing with the case.
“If he’s sent away that will be the end of it and he will be dealing with the ‘Real McCoys’ and he will be back in court in a year’s time,” added Mr. Nolan.
The boy himself, who turns 18 early next year, said he wanted to apologise in public to his victim.
Judge John Aylmer said “This is a very serious offense of burglary while on bail. If I was dealing with an adult I would be considering a jail sentence of three years.
“But because he is a juvenile I must approach it differently and ultimately detention must be the sentence of last resort.”
He imposed a detention order of six months but backdated it to the day he went into custody on July 18th and also placed him under the supervision of Probation and Welfare Officer upon in his release for a period of another six months.
The court was told that the boy’s dad has a criminal record but Judge Aylmer said he would excuse communication with his father.