Portlaoise Court: 'Out of control' youth sentenced

Robbery 17-year-old amassed large number of serious charges

Portlaoise Court: 'Out of control' youth sentenced

A 17-year-old Portlaoise male described as “a thorn in the side of police” has been given a suspended sentence for attempted robbery.

Judge Catherine Staines said that the youth had been “totally out of control” between the ages of 15 and 16, when he amassed a large number of serious charges.

The youth appeared before last week’s district court on foot of two bench warrants, having failed to appear in court on May 25 and again on June 16.

Inspector Maria Conway gave evidence that on February 26 this year, the gardaí were alerted to an alarm being activated at Beechfield House, Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise.

When they arrived at the scene, the gardaí saw a male exiting the rear of the house, and a second male, the accused, was found hiding in a shed.

Both males were arrested, and the court heard that the accused was out on bail at the time of the offence.

Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said that the house was empty at the time.

He said his client had been getting into a lot of difficulties at the time, as he was hanging around with a group of young men committing antisocial behaviour and using drugs.

His mother felt it was best to remove him from the scene and so he went to the UK to work with an uncle in the building trade, which was why he had missed his court dates.

Mr Meagher said his client was now a changed young man and much more mature.

“He appreciates he was a thorn in the side of police locally, but he is now turning a corner,” said Mr Meagher.

Saying she had to think of the victims of his crimes, Judge Staines asked did the accused have any compensation saved from his building work, to which Mr Meagher said he had €500 in court.

The court also heard that the accused had paid some compensation for the theft of an iPhone, in a separate matter.

There was also a charge of attempting to commit a robbery on June 29, although nothing was taken in this offence, said Insp Conway.

Judge Staines said she had to mark the seriousness of the offending, and imposed ten months' detention on the attempted robbery charge, suspended for two years.

The other charges were taken into consideration.