Cookstown teenager accused of knife-point robbery ‘had been abusing cannabis’

Court
Court

A fifteen-year-old boy from Cookstown, accused of robbing a petrol station at knifepoint, has been refused bail.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared via video link at East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court from the Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre on Wednesday.

He stands accused of robbing cash from the Chapel Street service station on the evening of May 19.

A detective constable from the PSNI outlined the case, stating that a youth had cycled to the Hilltop Service Station at around 9.30pm and had waited until the shop had emptied before entering.

He told the court that the youth then produced a knife to the 20-year-old attendee who was being kept company by her 11-year-old sister.

The younger girl was pushed aside as the youth grabbed £20 notes from the till. Both females fled to the chip shop next door.

The constable said that police had visited a Cookstown address after reviewing CCTV footage and identifying the youth due to distinctive physical characteristics.

During this attendance at his home, the youth had thrown the contents of his pockets - over £200 in £20 notes - at the officers.

The constable said that police had fears that if released on bail the defendant would interfere with witnesses.

He also stated that there were two cases ongoing in his household and that his mother did “not have a great deal of control over her son at the minute”.

Mr Colin Donnelly, defending, said that the family had been liaising with the Youth Justice Agency before admitting that his client had been abusing cannabis which had left his family “at their wits’ end with him”.

Refusing bail, District Judge John Meehan noted that the boy had been referred to social services due to his aggressive behaviour as well as having been suspended from school due to “violent and disruptive behaviour”.

“The risk of offending here is flagrant,” Judge Meehan said, advising that an alternative address should be sought.

The case is adjourned until June 24.