‘Out of control’ Derry teen accused of robbing bookmakers at knifepoint wanted money to buy a scrambler, court told


A judge has said a teenager accused of robbing a bookmakers earlier this week is ‘out of control’.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, is charged with robbing £140 in cash from a city centre bookmakers on November 10.

It is alleged the teen was armed with a four inch knife during the robbery.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations the teen entered the Ladbrokes Bookmakers in Newmarket Street shortly after 8:30pm.

His face was obscured by a hooded top and he allegedly shouted at a female staff member ‘hand over the f****** money’.

The staff member dropped the money she was holding, totalling £140.

The 16-year-old allegedly picked up the money and fled the premises, dropping the knife.

He was arrested following police enquiries and replied ‘it was hardly me’.

During interview, the teen initially denied the offences.

However, the court heard when the teen was challenged about potential DNA evidence on the knife he made admissions.

He allegedly told police he robbed the bookmakers to get money to buy a scrambler.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer told the court police believe the teen needs to be remanded in custody to protect the public.

The officer revealed the robbery was allegedly committed while the defendant was on police bail for other offences.

These include allegations the teen assaulted an 11-year-old girl and ‘uttered threats of rape’.

He was also on police bail accused of threatening to kill his mother and making threats to burn down her house.

The court heard the 16-year-old has anger issues and has ‘suicidal tendencies’.

The investigating officer said that during police interview the teen admitted if someone had tried to intervene in the robbery ‘he may well have used the knife’.

The officer added police have intelligence to suggest the defendant routinely arms himself with the knife.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused bail stating ‘I think this young man is out of control’.

‘I can’t see how I could possibly grant bail in the circumstances. There are no bail conditions any court could impose that could protect his own safety or indeed the safety of others’.

The judge added the only way he could consider bail was if the teen was going to secure accommodation where he would be receiving treatment and ‘could not simply walk out’.

He remanded the defendant in custody and recommended that the authorities in the Juvenile Justice Centre have the teen psychologically assessed as a ‘matter of urgency’.

The teen will appear in court again via videolink on November 17.