Home ireland Teen sentenced for hoax bomb threat at Dublin Garda station

Teen sentenced for hoax bomb threat at Dublin Garda station

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Teen sentenced for hoax bomb threat at Dublin Garda station

A “creative” Dublin teenager who telephoned a hoax bomb threat to a Garda station demanding release from a holding cell and that a republican prisoner be let out of jail has received a two-month sentence.

The 17-year-old had been detained at Clontarf Garda station, but sneaked a phone in with him and put on “a northern accent” when he made two 999 calls from inside a holding cell.

At Dublin Children’s Court, Judge Paul Kelly heard the teen threatened to detonate one bomb at the Garda station unless its prisoners were let out, and another bomb at a shopping centre if “Whacker Duffy” was not released from Portlaoise Prison.

The court heard the threat caused a “bit of a panic”, but a “seasoned” station sergeant was unconvinced. The teen was caught using the mobile phone and his holding cell was checked.

Sentencing was adjourned for a probation report.

The boy, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, was charged with knowingly making a false report at Clontarf Garda station.

He had initially denied the charge but entered a guilty plea when his trial was due to start and prosecution witnesses had come to court.

Garda Keith McCarthy told Judge Kelly that the teen had been held at the Garda station on a date last year.

He added there were two 999 calls, lasting three minutes and 42 seconds, and 57 seconds respectively.

Threat

After the initial panic, Garda command and control could establish the call was “pinging” from a phone mast in the area of Clontarf Garda station.

The teen had “feigned a northern accent and was demanding the release of all prisoners at Clontarf Garda station,” the court heard. The garda added there were “explicit threats that a bomb would be detonated if he was not released by 2am”.

Garda McCarthy said he heard a “voice emanating from the cell” and looked through the door slit to see the accused talking into a small Nokia phone in the corner.

The court heard the duty sergeant was a seasoned hand and did not believe the threat was genuine, so widespread panic was averted and the Garda station was not evacuated.

Garda McCarthy said he had to remove the phone from the teen forcibly, and the device was later analysed.

The teen was already serving a sentence for other matters, the court heard, noting he has 39 previous convictions for theft, robbery, burglary, public order, possessing stolen property, obstructing gardaí and criminal damage offences.

Judge Kelly said there has never been a case like this before the Children’s Court.

Defence counsel Doireann McDonagh said her client was a creative and intelligent young man doing well in the Oberstown Detention Centre and has completed training courses.

The boy, accompanied to the hearing by his mother, did not address the court.

The judge heard he was inebriated at the time of the incident but is now remorseful.