Boy, 14, on €11,000 robbery spree freed after telling Judge he won’t reoffend

July 1, 2020

A 14-year-old boy who went on a robbery spree has been released from a detention centre after he told a Judge that he would not steal again.

The boy, who cannot be named, appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with 25 offences.

He admitted stealing more than €11,000 worth of property and cash in a nine-month period last year and has been on remand at Oberstown Children’s Detention Campus in Dublin for the past eight months.

The boy previously pleaded to breaking into a hairdressing salon, a community centre, a GAA club, an electrical shop, a leisure centre, two casinos, a petrol station, three supermarkets, a baby shop, a hotel, a painting and decorating shop and a cafe.

Most of the crimes were committed when the boy was just 13 years old.

Judge Paul Kelly also heard how on one occasion he approached an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old in broad daylight and threatened them for money.

He tried to take their wallet from them before they fled before the boy could get any cash.

He also broke into the Aura Leisure on Christmas Day last and tried to open two safes but could not gain entry.

In many of the cases, he was pictured on CCTV carrying out the crimes.

On another occasion, the boy managed to get into the staff room of a hairdressing salon in Letterkenny and stole €3,700 from a wallet in a locker.

He also stole go-karts, money boxes, phones and purses form various premises, many of which were entered in broad daylight.

Judge Kelly said he had read in detail the report from the Probation Services into the boy who suffers from ADHD and has some learning difficulties.

However, he said that while he understood many of the crimes took place in the company of others who appeared to be a bad influence, he still had to take responsibility for hanging around with these people.

“Perhaps they were people who were a bit more street-savvy but he has to take responsibility,” said the Judge.

He went through all 25 charges and took many into account but also imposed various detention periods but backdated them to January 20th this year.

He also said how the Probation Services had recommended that the boy engage in a period of intensive probation and supervision and that he enter an education programme.

The case was adjourned until September 3rd when the Judge said he hoped to hear a glowing report from the Probation Services.

And he warned the boy “If I don’t get one then I have options.”