Dublin boy involved in drive-off thefts from petrol stations has sentence deferred

Dublin boy involved in drive-off thefts from petrol stations has sentence deferred

A Dublin boy who pleaded guilty to burglary, dangerous driving and a litany of “drive off” thefts from petrol stations over the past four years has had his sentence deferred.

The boy, now 17 and who cannot be named as he is a minor, has been placed on probation and has had a custodial sentence deferred.

Garda Subomi Etti told Dublin Children’s Court the teenager, then aged 13, and another older youth were involved in a break-in to an engineering business on May 21st, 2018.

Garda Etti told Judge Paul Kelly they “wheeled out” a bin, containing €4,220 worth of copper wiring, from an engineering business on Ballycoolin Road in north Dublin, leaving the scene in a van driven by an unidentified man.

The teenager pleaded guilty to 20 other charges. One traffic pursuit in north Dublin on October 17th, 2021 led to seven counts of dangerous driving and charges for being uninsured, having no licence, and not giving gardaí his details. He also admitted nine “drive off” thefts from petrol stations in October and November 2021.

The boy had no prior criminal convictions but had previously spent a week in custody on remand for breaking bail terms.

The Probation Service furnished the court with a pre-sentence report on the boy.

Defence counsel Amy Deane asked the judge to note custody led to a “turnaround” for the boy, who then engaged with a bail support programme and earned a Safe Pass to look for work. The court heard he was also involved in sports and cared for animals.

Judge Kelly described the burglary as a “meticulously planned operation”, imposing a 12-month probation bond on the youth for that crime.

The judge warned the boy must continue to accept help to divert him from reoffending, desist from substance misuse, secure employment or training, and not reoffend.

He imposed sentences totalling 10 months for the other charges but deferred activating them pending a review of the case in November.

The boy, accompanied to court by his mother, was also banned from driving for four years.