26 Sept 2022

Teenager robbed his social worker's car to go on 'a jolly'

Teenager robbed his social worker's car to go on 'a jolly'

A teenager who with the help of a friend robbed the car of his social worker to go on “a jolly” has had three years detention deferred for a year.

Maurice Coffey SC, defending, said it was “quite clearly a plan that was hatched between the pair” to go on “a jolly” that was “not quite Thelma and Louise”.

He accepted that his client used violence to remove the woman from the vehicle. He described it as “a shocking incident” and said it was lucky the woman had not been hurt.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of the vehicle at Sallynoggin, County Dublin, on February 9, 2020.

Garda Aidan Maher told Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL, prosecuting, that the teenager was driven to the spot from his care home in the midlands by his social worker in order to meet a friend. She was due to pick him up two hours later and she had facilitated him previously to meet with his friend in this way.

When she pulled up another teenager approached the car, opened the driver’s door and tried to drag her out of the vehicle. She was held in by her seatbelt but the accused unbuckled the seatbelt so that the woman could be dragged from the car.

She held onto the frame of the car but the accused peeled her hands away. The woman managed to grab her handbag from the vehicle before the pair drove off.

Gda Maher confirmed that the vehicle was later found in County Carlow. It had been crashed and abandoned with €7,500 worth of damaged caused. The social worker did not make a victim impact statement.

The court heard that the second teenager previously had a three-year detention order deferred for year. A probation report was order in his case and Judge Melanie Greally indicated that if it was favourable the three-year term would be suspended.

On Wednesday Judge Martin Nolan said he would impose a similar sentence on this teenager.

He deferred a three-year detention for a year and ordered a probation report. He adjourned the case to May 5, 2022 and said if the report was favourable, he would suspend the sentence

Judge Nolan described it as “a particularly nasty crime” and said the pair had planned to rob the car.

He said the boy’s “partner in crime pulled the unfortunate woman out of the car and he helped him to do that”. He said it represented a breach of trust as the woman was trying to help him.

Judge Nolan acknowledged that the teenager had a difficult background but was doing well in his current placement.

Mr Coffey said his client had experienced many difficulties as a young child living in an orphanage in Russia before he came to Ireland. He didn’t complete school and had serious anger management issues.

He is currently doing well in his residential placement and has completed a number of courses.

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