Knife-wielding thug avoids jail ‘by a hair’

by Emma Nolan
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where a man was jailed for robbing shops with a blood-filled syringe

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy who went on a knife-wielding crime spree in south county Dublin has avoided detention after a judge noted he was still a child “by a hair’s breadth”.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a suspended three-year sentence in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after Judge Melanie Greally noted he was two days away from his 18th birthday, and must therefore be treated as a juvenile.
The boy, with an address in Shankill, pleaded guilty to 12 charges, including robbery, attempted robbery, production of a knife and criminal damage relating to incidents which took place between August 2014 and October 2015.
The court heard most of the offences related to a string of crimes carried out near Shankill Dart station on October 21 last year when the boy – along with a co-accused, who also cannot be named threatening a number of passers-by with a knife and robbed some of them.
Several calls were made to gardai over the course of the spree, which lasted about three hours. The boy and his co-accused were arrested in Shankill later that night.
The boy was also charged over two incidents in August 2014 and August 2015, during which he threatened and robbed teen boys.
Most of the victims declined to give victim impact statements, but said that they were extremely frightened by the incidents.
Judge Greally said that because the boy was still a juvenile, she must be mindful that a custodial sentence should only be imposed as a last resort.
She handed down a suspended three-year sentence on a number of conditions, including that the boy be of good behaviour for three years and undertake a training and education programme.

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