Boy, 13, with a €1,000 a day drug habit attacked teen with bike pump in violent robbery, court hears

A 13-year-old boy with a €1,000 a day drug addiction was one of a group of three who mugged and attempted to rob a group of teenagers.

he now 16-year-old, who is currently on remand in Oberstown awaiting trial, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm, production of a bicycle pump during the course of an assault, two robberies and two attempted robberies on October 20, 2019.

He has 24 previous convictions for offences including burglary and robbery which he carried out to feed a drug addiction that began when he was 12 years old. He was sentenced today to 18 months detention.

Mark Lynam BL, defending, told Judge Martin Nolan that his client was born addicted to heroin, being the child of two serious drug addicts.

He was under the care of his grandmother and aunts and was doing well until he met his biological mother on the street when he was 12 years old. She self harmed in front of him and this incident led to him beginning to abuse both cocaine and tablets.

Mr Lynam said that by the time the boy was 13, he was spending €1,000 per day on drugs and committing crime to feed this addiction.

Judge Martin Nolan said the crimes committed involved violence and were very frightening for the teenage victims. He said he had no doubt that the accused was “an active participant”.

He sentenced him to 18 months detention which he backdated to January last year, when the teenager was first remanded in Oberstown pending this upcoming trial.

Garda Elaine Dodd told Michael Hourigan BL, prosecuting that the teenagers were gathered around Na Fianna GAA grounds in Drumcondra at 4pm that evening when they were approached by a group of three males.

One of the teenagers was struck by the accused with a bicycle pump on his temple and on his legs in an attempt to get the victim off his bicycle. The victim was left with bruising and swelling to his face, a black eye and bruising to his leg.

Photographs of his injuries were handed into court along with a medical report from Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

Another two teenagers had their phones robbed while the group tried to rob the phones of two other teenagers. The victims said that one of the muggers had mentioned that they had a knife with them.

This teenager was nominated as a suspect after one of the victims was able to give his name to gardaí. He was arrested the following month and made admissions.

Mr Lynam asked Judge Nolan to accept that his client was “not a person without hope” and said his grandmother and aunts will support him when he is ultimately released from detention.

“He is not necessarily destined for a life of crime,” counsel submitted. “He has insights and has expressed remorse”.

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