Teenager charged in Dublin with robbery of English tourist

Teenager charged in Dublin with robbery of English tourist

A TEENAGE boy wept in court  after being charged over an unprovoked and "extremely violent" robbery of an English tourist in Dublin's Temple Bar.

Three men, in their 20s, were treated in hospital following the incident in the busy tourist area near the centre of the Irish capital.

The 17-year-old, arrested at the weekend, was held before his appearance at Dublin's Children's Court.

The teenager, who has yet to indicate a plea, was accused of robbery of tourist Charlie Carter of his wallet and its contents - worth about €30.

Mr Carter - a member of amateur soccer club, St. John's Sports, from Aylesbury in south-east England - had flown over to the Irish capital with his team last Thursday to play a match against a local Dublin side.  The fixture, which had been due to take place on Saturday, was subsequently cancelled following the incident.

The court was told that the teen punched Mr Carter and forced him to the ground, before spotting an "easy opportunity" to rummage through his pockets.

The west Dublin youth, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was granted bail despite garda objections, but was ordered to obey a list of strict conditions.

The teenager, accompanied by his mother, entered the courtroom sobbing, rubbing his eyes, and proceeded to cry throughout the contested bail hearing.

Garda David Dolan told the court he obtained a warrant to arrest the teenager during the early hours of Sunday, after which he was detained and later charged.

The court heard that Mr Carter was with two other English tourists and another man they met that night at the time of the incident.  Opposing bail, Garda Dolan also told how a fight, involving a large group, had broken out.

It was alleged in court that Mr Carter was punched in the back of the head by an unknown male and that the accused "punched Mr Carter in the face with a clenched fist before a third male punched him".

Judge Deirdre Gearty was told that Mr Carter covered his face with his hands, while the defendant allegedly put his hand in his trouser pockets and then forced him to the ground and continued to search his pockets.

The court heard that Mr Carter then received a kick to the head from another person while the accused allegedly "continued to rummage through the injured party's pockets".  The entire incident is understood to have been caught on CCTV, the court was told.

It was also claimed that the defendant later unsuccessfully tried using Mr Carter's bank card in a nearby convenience store.

Mr Carter, who has since returned home to the UK, suffered bruising to his head, face and neck, and a suspected broken nose in the incident.

This latest attack has sparked yet more concern about the surge in the number of anti-social and violent incidents in Temple Bar - one of the Irish capital's most important tourist and cultural districts.

Over the past few months there have been growing reports about gangs of youths invading the district's streets to deal drugs, start fights and intimidate people.