A girl who while drunk threatened a teenager with a screwdriver on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green was spared a fine and a criminal conviction.
The girl, 16, pleaded guilty to theft and possession of weapons in Dublin Children’s Court.
Garda Aisling Kilcoyne told Judge Paul Kelly the boy reported the theft on the evening of July 4, 2021, telling Gardaí he had been “threatened by a girl with a screwdriver” and that she had taken his speaker.
The Garda came across the girl and told her she was looking for a spokesperson. The then 15-year-old defendant handed it over and took the pencil-sized screwdriver out of her pocket.
The court heard Gardaí made several attempts to contact the girl’s mother before taking her home.
“She was not in a state to be interviewed,” Garda Kilcoyne said, adding that social workers were also contacted.
The girl later went to Pearse Street Garda train station, where she made admissions, apologizing and claiming: “I don’t remember the night. I was really drunk.”
She had no criminal record.
According to the girl’s account of the incident, there was “trouble at her house,” which was “smashed.” Defense attorney Brian Keenan said the defendant found the screwdriver and felt safer with it.
He added she has been in Tusla’s care for years and has struggled with her mental health, but said she is “in a much better place now.” The court heard that she is in school and has taken anger management classes.
Her social worker and a relative attended the hearing, where the attorney submitted a social report to the court.
Judge Kelly also had another parole service report detailing his engagement to the teenager over the past three months.
Judge Kelly noted that she had not had a negative profile recently, had completed her Junior Certificate exams and found a full-time job that she enjoyed.
However, the judge noted her concern that her job would be jeopardized as a result of the court case.
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The defense argued that the prejudice reports were positive.
Judge Kelly agreed that her parole officer spoke of her “very highly” and noted her records of her involvement with various services.
The judge spared her a criminal record, applied the criminal probation law and warned her to “stay out of trouble.”
The girl replied, “Thank you,” as he left the court.