Jail for teenager who robbed parish collection

A TEENAGER who pleaded guilty to stealing over €5,000 from the Christmas collection at Tagoat parochial house, was sentenced to six months detention by Judge O Buachalla at Wexford District Court.

The 17-year-old defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, admitted his role in the burglary at St Mary's Parochial House on January 9 last.

His solicitor said the defendant would like a further adjournment of the case so that he could prove himself. He had been attending a youth training course and wanted to make a new start.

However, Judge O Buachalla pointed out that his conduct over the past six months had been steadily disimproving. Inspector Pat McDonald agreed that this was the case.

The solicitor said he told her he had changed his attitude since being remanded in custody and it had given him the fright that he needed.

Garda Robert Aylward reminded the court that the defendant had also been remanded in custody for a week some weeks earlier but he ended up in custody again last week.

The solicitor suggested to Judge O Buachalla that if he was considering a custodial sentence, she would ask for it to be suspended as the defendant is young.

Giving evidence of the offence, Garda Aylward said the defendant and a co-accused were involved in a burglary at the parochial house in which the Christmas collection was stolen. Over €5,000 in coins was returned to gardaí.

The teenager also pleaded guilty to taking a car without the consent of the owner at Pugin Park, Tagoat, on January 5 and driving without insurance or a licence. Garda Aylward said two gardaí came across a car acting suspiciously. The vehicle took off and later crashed into a ditch.

Judge O Buachalla sentenced the defendant to six months' detention to date from June 7, and disqualified him from driving for three years.

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