Homophobic bully stubbed cigarette on mum's cheek
A MOTHER and father were beaten up in their front garden after they defended their gay son from homophobic taunting, a court has heard.
Following an emotionally charged hearing at the Dublin Children's Court, three teenage schoolgirls were found guilty of committing a violent disorder.
The court heard the woman was punched, kicked and had a cigarette stubbed out on her face when she was confronted by three girls. Meanwhile, her husband was set on and allegedly knocked out by a youth who is being tried separately.
The girls, aged 16 and 17, had pleaded not guilty and had no prior criminal convictions, but were drunk on alcopops and vodka, the court heard.
Judge John O'Connor said the Probation Act would be considered for two of them if they wrote a letter of apology. Their parents had to be involved in preparing the letters and they must address the alcohol they had drank "and the torture they put this family through". They were ordered to appear again next week.
The third girl, alleged to have stubbed a cigarette out on the woman's face, has been remanded on bail for a probation report. Another youth is facing separate proceedings.
Judge O'Connor heard that the couple's son had gone out to walk a younger sibling back from a bus stop.
Someone had been throwing stones at their house and there was a group of teenage boys outside. The woman said "I could see they were very angry" and her son was repeatedly taunted about being gay.
The mother said she went out and calmly said: "We know he is gay, it is not a problem."
"Three girls came running at me, screaming, 'Who the eff do you think you are?' " the woman told the court.
She was on the verge of tears as she told how one of the girls had a cigarette and "went for my eye but it hit just under my eye".
She claimed the girl picked up a bottle and to defend herself she grabbed the girl by her hair and pulled her down.
"I thought if I let go of her hair, they will bottle my face," she said.
She said she felt punches and kicks and her husband was knocked to the ground by a youth who was "punching him and kicking him" in the head.
"I came to in my garden, next to my car," he said, adding his car was also smashed.
He denied claims made by the girls that he had struck one of them with a bottle.
However, Judge O'Connor heard evidence from a neighbour who called the gardaí after he saw it escalate. He said he saw one of the girls "put a cigarette out in her face".
The girls had left a party and admitted they had been drinking. One had eight bottles of an alcopop as well as a naggin of vodka.