Tuesday 25 July 2017

Crowd stood by and filmed while garda attacked on street

Stock picture
Stock picture

Tom Tuite

Two youths have been spared sentences for viciously attacking a garda on Dublin's Henry Street while onlookers stood back and filmed with their phones.

The boys, aged 16, have pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm to Gda Sgt Damian O'Hara, who was attacked while on duty in the city centre on June 18 last year.

Judge John O'Connor had warned them previously that they would each face six-month custodial sentences if negative probation reports on them were furnished to the court.

He noted when the case resumed yesterday that the reports were positive and the pair said they would follow recommendations made by the Probation Service.

Judge O'Connor recorded convictions and imposed 10-month probations on them.

The judge warned them that breaking the terms of the supervision order would result in an alternative sentence.

At an earlier hearing, a victim impact statement was read in court and Judge O'Connor had said the incident had a traumatic effect, adding that the case demonstrated the dangers faced by gardaí every day.

Crowd

He noted from the statement that the sergeant is more weary in dealing with situations and felt that there was a lack of respect to gardaí.

In the statement he also revealed that during the incident "the public preferred to stand back and record a garda being clearly assaulted, and not assist".

In evidence, Garda Sergeant Adrian Kinsella had said there were difficulties among a crowd watching a street performance.

He said his colleague asked a busker to show him his permit when the boys intervened.

They were not connected to the busker and were told by the sergeant to move on. One boy said "f*** yourself" to Sergeant O'Hara.

That youth then pulled the sergeant's bicycle helmet over his face and punched him in the head.

Both fell to the ground and the boy got on top of the sergeant and continued to punch him in the face and head.

The sergeant also sustained a kick from the other youth.

Defence lawyers said both teenagers had mental health issues and behavioural disorders.

The main instigator also had drug abuse problems.

A medical report was furnished to the court showing the garda suffered restricted movement in his thigh, an abrasion to his nasal bridge and his left elbow was hurt.

He noted from the statement that the sergeant is now more weary in performing his duties.

Irish Independent

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