Monday 24 April 2017

Family wanted to return to war-torn Middle East after spending just 13 days in Irish city

'The shocking details of a vicious and unprovoked attack on a 'foreign national' boy in July 2015, were outlined at Limerick Circuit Court, during the sentencing of a 17-year old accused' (stock photo)
'The shocking details of a vicious and unprovoked attack on a 'foreign national' boy in July 2015, were outlined at Limerick Circuit Court, during the sentencing of a 17-year old accused' (stock photo)

David Raleigh

A family who fled the war-torn Middle East for a new life in Limerick, expressed a desire to return to their homeland after spending just 13 days in the Treaty City, because they believed it was too violent, a court heard, Friday.

The shocking details of a vicious and unprovoked attack on a "foreign national" boy in July 2015, were outlined at Limerick Circuit Court, during the sentencing of a 17-year old accused. The defendant, who was aged 16 at the time, and a co-accused, armed themselves with hurleys they had stolen from the garden of a house, before chasing down the terrified victim, and beating him unconscious with the playing sticks.

Moments prior to the savage assault, the victim, also 16, and who did not speak English, had ignored requests from his attackers for a cigarette, the court heard. The defendant, having cornered the boy in a "dead end", threw a rock at him "levelling him", stated John O'Sullivan, SC, prosecuting.

The court heard, earlier on the day, the defendant and others, threw stones at the victim.

Savage

Following his arrest in November 2015, the defendant was refused bail at Limerick Children's Court after been charged with the boy's assault, as well as 34 other offences, including 17 counts of criminal damage; nine counts of theft; six counts of burglary; and two counts of stealing cars.

On December 7th he was granted bail at the High Court, Dublin, however three days later he committed another unprovoked savage assault on a 24-year old man in Debenhams, O'Connell Street, Limerick. Judge Tom O'Donnell described the first assault on the boy in July 2015, as "most disturbing".

In a victim impact statement the boy wrote: "I was fearful for my family's safety in my home country, so we moved here... then I was attacked and beaten here."

The boy's father said his traumatised son "did not speak for four days afterwards". "My wife was very upset and wanted to return with our children to (our home country)," he said.

"I did not think that when I moved my family to Ireland that they would not be safe."

The defendant has pleaded guilty to all charges. The judge adjourned sentencing to October 28 next.

Irish Independent

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