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Teen gets life sentence for stab murder of cleaner
Mr Justice Tony Hunt Pic: RollingNews.ie

20 Feb 2023 / courts Print

Teen gets life sentence for knife murder of cleaner

A judge has described as one of the ‘terrible realities’ of a murder case the fact that the perpetrator will be only 28 when he is eligible for release after a life sentence.

"If he enjoys ordinary good fortune he will have many good years in front of him, even with all that behind him," the judge said this morning.

A life sentence was handed down to a 17-year-old boy by Mr Justice Tony Hunt for the murder of  a woman walking home from work in Dublin's north inner city two years ago.

The sentence will be reviewed in 13 years.

Urantsetseg Tserendorj (49) was on her way home from her work as a cleaner when she was knifed in the neck.

The attack happened on a path between George's Dock and Custom House Quay in the IFSC, Dublin, on 20 January 2021, after the boy, then 14, attempted to rob her.

The woman died in hospital from her injuries nine days later.

A previous sentence hearing had been delayed when Mr Justice Tony Hunt appealed to the Oireachtas to address what he called a "yawning gap" in the law for juveniles convicted of serious crimes.

This morning in the Central Criminal Court the judge said that he was encouraged by  statements made by the Minister for Justice Simon Harris.

'Fully considered sentence structure'

"I have come to the view that I can derive some encouragement from ministerial and department statements since the last sentencing hearing in this unfortunate case. It has to be emphasised, the limit of my function is to raise issues where they touch on the business of this court," the judge said this morning.

"It is proper to have respect for these pronouncements as having substance; there will be a fully considered sentence structure for unfortunate cases such as this," he continued.

Mr Justice Hunt said that very young people committing serious offences may not have been considered when the Children Act was written in 2001.

"Just because they are a small number, they are important and significant and there needs to be a proper way in which the interests of the offender and society ... can be synthesised at all stages of the process," he said.

The convicted juvenile will be able to apply for parole after 12 years.

The review system does not preclude him from applying for parole.

The judge said the Oireachtas should consider this when legislating for juveniles sentenced for serious crimes.

The judge said the teenager had done well in detention and has excellent family support.


Mr Justice Hunt sentenced the teenager to concurrent three and two-year sentences for five other offences committed on the same day he stabbed Ms Tserendorj, and for the theft of a bicycle.

All sentences are backdated to when the 17-year-old first went into custody in January 2021.

Mr Justice Hunt ordered a series of probation reports before the final one on 11 January 2034.

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