A YOUTH who is accused threatening a French student with a meat cleaver after breaking into her bedroom has been refused bail.
The 16-year-old, who is in the care of the State, is charged with aggravated burglary and criminal damage in relation to an incident which occurred on September 22, last.
The Director of Public Prosecutions previously directed trial on indictment and the matter came before Limerick Circuit Court for the first time last week.
Opposing bail, Garda Dave Barry said it will be alleged the defendant and another youth entered a house at Old Cratloe Road, Limerick by via an upstairs window at around 7.10am.
He told John O’Sullivan BL, instructed by state solicitor Padraig Mawe, that the culprits were armed with a knife and a meat cleaver when they entered the house which was occupied.
It is the State case that having entered the property the culprits threatened the student and demanded cash from her after they entered her bedroom.
After another occupant of the house was alerted to the commotion and closed the bedroom door, the intruders fled by climbing out the window .
While they had left from the house when gardai arrived, Garda Barry said it will alleged a key to the house was found on the defendant when he was apprehended a short time later.
A quantity of cash. similar to what was taken from the student, was also recovered.
A meat cleaver was located near the scene while clothing belonging to the teenager is alleged to match that seen on CCTV.
”He was virtually caught in the act,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Garda Barry said he was objecting to bail as he had concerns the defendant would not attend court if released and would engage in criminality.
Judge Pat Meghen was told the 16-year-old has been reported missing on more than 60 occasions in the recent past. He has been the subject of a large number of national missing persons appeals.
Padraig Langson BL submitted there was no evidence to support the contention his client would engage in further criminality if granted bail and he said his client being missing was “nothing to do” with whether or not he should be granted bail.
”There is no obligation on him to be in any particular place,” he said.
Seeking bail on behalf of his client, Mr Langson questioned the strength of the evidence in the case and he submitted the court could impose strict bail conditions such as a curfew.
Refusing bail, Judge Meghen said the gravity of the allegations were a concern and he said he was satisfied there is a strong case to answer.
He noted the youth has addiction issues and he said the fact that he has been reported missing so many times was something he was entitled to consider.
The defendant was remanded in continuing detention to Oberstown and the case was adjourned to June 10, next.