Teenagers caused $60,000 damage to Donegal house
By Democrat Reporter
Three teenagers set fire to the furniture in a gate lodge house in Mountcharles and caused €60,000 damage, a court heard this yesterday.
One of them, a girl who was 15 at the time, now has a nine-months-old baby girl, Donegal Circuit Court was told.
The girl, who cannot be identified because of her age, and a young man, 20-year-old Edgar Kearns, admitted arson at Gate Lodge, Hall Demesne, Mountcharles, on March 8th, 2008.
Another teenage girl, also too young to be named, has already been dealt with by an earlier court.
Judge John O'Hagan said it was a "very serious" offence with a life sentence the maximum penalty.
"Three young people with time on their hands considered they controlled the world and the world was not a place they liked to be in and they wanted to show the world they could control it."
The youngsters were an out-of-control anti-social group who had been drinking and there were probably other substances involved. They broke a window to gain access to what was a holiday home.
He added: "The act that was done was absolutely deliberate."
The judge heard the youngsters piled up furniture and then set it alight. When thick black smoke emerged they fled the premises.
He said he believed that Kearns, who was 18 at the time, and the teenage mother, now 17, were remorseful for what they did and they hadn't been in trouble with gardai since. He added: "They got a message, a wake-up call."
Kearns, of Millrace Crescent, Donegal town, was sentenced to two years, suspended on condition that he do 50 hours community service.
Because of conditions that apply under the Children's Act, Judge O'Hagan put the girl's case back until Friday when he will hear from the Probation Service.
He told her she now had an opportunity to experience the demands of parenting.