independent

Saturday 21 September 2019

Teenage thieves told: Go home and do housework

'OUT OF CONTROL' PAIR STOLE €5,000 FROM PRESBYTERY

TWO 'out of control' teenage boys who should probably be in prison, according to a Judge, were instead sent home from Wexford District Court and told to help out around the house.

The youths, aged 16 and 17 years, were brought to court for breaking into the presbytery in Tagoat and stealing over €5,000 in cash after being dealt with previously under the Juvenile Liaison Scheme for other crimes including burglaries and taking cars.

Judge Donnchadh O Buachalla said: 'I know they are totally out of control. The place they possibly should be is in prison.'

However, he remanded the pair on continuing bail, telling them to do 'meaningful chores' at home. TWO ' out of control' teenage criminals who should probably be in prison, according to the Judge, were sent home from Wexford District Court to help out around the house.

Judge Donnchadh O Buachalla told the young offenders charged with breaking into the presbytery in Tagoat a week ago and stealing over €5,000 from Christmas collections, that he wanted to see them doing 'meaningful chores'.

'I know they are totally out of control. The place they possibly should be is prison', he said, as he remanded the teenagers on bail for a week.

The pair, aged 16 and 17, had struck lucky when they found so much money after breaking into the priest's house.

However, their good fortune didn't last as they were arrested and brought to court before they could spend the cash.

Judge O Buachalla decided they were out of control after hearing of their previous activities which included taking cars and other burglaries.

The pair were making their first appearance in court, having been dealt with previously under the juvenile liaison scheme. The case was first listed last Wednesday, away from the formality of the main courtroom, in the judge's chambers where the mothers of the two defendants were present, along with the grandfather of one.

Gardai Gary Heanue and Robert Aylward gave evidence of arresting the youths as they investigated the burglary at the presbytery in Tagoat where Fr. Matthias Glynn returned on Monday January 10 to find a window smashed and all the Christmas collection money taken, along with four bottles of whiskey.

Garda Aylward reported that the money was returned, along with the alcohol. He explained that the haul comprised €2,000 in coins, with the remainder in notes of various denominations, taken from different locations around the house.

One of the accused had €1,315 in notes and a sackful of coins. The second had €310 which was produced by his mother before the court sitting. A third youth, being dealt with under the Garda juvenile liaison scheme, also had a share of the illicit takings.

Judge O Buachalla assigned the teenagers a solicitor and asked Ms. Caitriona Walsh to take the case. He said he was minded to remand them in custody.

When the case resumed, Ms. Walsh said her clients realised they had come to the end of the line. She entered guilty pleas and suggested that a probation report was required.

They were remanded on bail to Wexford District Court on Monday when Judge O Buachalla asked if they had abided by the conditions of their bail which included a curfew from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., stay off alcohol and drugs and stay away from a shop where their behaviour had given rise to complaints by the proprietor and staff.

Judge O Buachalla had told them it would be an opportunity for them to do plenty of work at home and had asked them to keep a note of what they had been doing each day.

Inspector Pat McDonald said he had a concern about parental control. 'It's clear that they are out of control. I would like to hear from the parents now,' he said.

The mother of one boy said the weekend had gone well and her son's attitude was fine. He was quite busy around the busy.

Garda Aylward suggested that the reason they might have been on their best behaviour over the weekend was they knew they were coming back to court on Monday.

'I know they are totally out of control. The place they should be is in prison. However, I'm going to adjourn it for one more week,' said Judge O Buachalla.

The other boy's mother said she had seen a 'tiny change' in her son. He had not given her any cheek and he promised her that he was not going to ever do anything like this again.

Judge O Buachalla adjourned the case to January 24 and told the accused that he wanted to see them doing 'more meaningful chores' around their homes.

'It is my duty to remand you in custody if you are out of control,' he warned them.

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