Teen pulled knife on phone seller during set-up robbery

A Dublin schoolboy has pleaded guilty to assault and producing a knife during a set-up robbery after a man arranged to sell his mobile phone over Facebook.

The boy, aged 16, admitted his part in the crime when appeared at the Dublin Children’s Court on Tuesday.

Judge Paul Kelly adjourned sentencing for a probation report to be furnished to the court in four weeks.

The boy, accompanied by a family member, was recommended on continuing bail.

Outlining the evidence, Garda Marie Ruddy told Judge Kelly the victim had arranged to sell his iPhone via Facebook’s messenger app.

He went to a house in north Dublin and called the buyer, who told him someone else would come out to him.

The defendant, then aged 14, exited the house, grabbed the phone and punched the man before running away.

However, the man went after him.

kitchen knife

Then, the teen brandished a large kitchen knife and pointed it at the complainant, who was in fear, the garda said.

However, he did not wish to give a victim impact statement in court.

The phone, worth €500, was not recovered.

Defense solicitor Mervyn Harnett asked Judge Kelly to note the boy did not produce the knife to threaten the man until he was chased.

He said the teenager had positively engaged in a bail supervision scheme and that his family steadfastly stood by him.

The court heard that a second older male took the knife from the defendant and chased the phone owner shouting, “come on, come on”.

While searching the boy’s home, gardaí later recovered a 12-inch knife and found that its handle was covered with duct tape. CCTV evidence had also been obtained.

He had no previous convictions and was still in school, the defense submitted.

The teen did not address the court.

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