TWO teenage brothers who allegedly set upon a luxury car on a forecourt in Newbridge with a slash-hook and an iron bar were both sent forward for trial next month. The two boys appeared in Naas District Court, accompanied by their mother, and the first question from Judge Desmond Zaidan was in relation to the youthfulness of the younger co-defendant.
“How old are you?” he asked.
“I’ll be 43 in a couple of weeks,” said the boy’s mother erroneously, to a smattering of smiles. The youth, who is now 14, is charged with criminal damage of the vehicle at Brennan’s Maxol garage in Newbridge on the evening of 24 May, 2021, and was in court for the presentation of a S75 Report – a Probation Service look at whether a child can stand trial in the Circuit Court, after the DPP had earlier ruled thus.
The older brother, who has achieved his majority, has already been presented with his Book of Evidence, although that court held over on allocating a trial date for him to await the outcome of his younger brother’s S75 Report this week. Sergeant Brian Jacob told how “this young man got out of a car with an iron bar and “did extensive damage to a Mercedes…in an ongoing dispute with families”.
“There were various weapons, like slash hooks and iron bars, and they did an estimated €12,500 worth of damage,” he said. “They knew who he was, I won’t go further than that,” he said.
(The younger brother is only charged with criminal damage, whilst his older sibling has production of a weapon, and threats to kill charges as well.) “The DPP has directed trial by indictment on both,” he revealed. “ I don’t know if youth could see the consequences of his actions as he was only 13 at the time, and had only just started secondary school,” said his barrister Aisling Murphy.
“He is getting help for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and is also getting help from school for this,” she added. “I’m asking you to reconsider the matter, particularly his age at the time, and these difficulties in the background…he is also currently in CAMHS (Child and Mental Health Services)AA at the moment,” she added.
“When the DPP directs trial by indictment the court has no place in it, but you guys [Murphy and Jacob] believe I have the power to revert her [the DPP’s} decision?” he asked of the prosecution and defence.
After some perusal of the S75 Report, the judge said: “I’m satisfied the allegation is not minor, and I believe the DPP has reached the right conclusion at trial by indictment,” he said. “Obviously, he’s very young, the level of maturity, but I refuse to overturn the DPP’s decision,” he said, as assistant prosecutor Garda Sinead Fahy formally handed over the younger brother his Book of Evidence.
He then sent both forward for trial at the next sittings of the Naas Circuit Court which begins on 20 June, and granted legal aid for that trial for both of the brothers.