Wednesday 7 December 2016

Man stabbed 20 times and forced into canal during teen gang attack - court hears

Tom Tuite

Published 09/09/2016 | 19:59

The Royal Canal in Dublin Photo: Caroline Quinn
The Royal Canal in Dublin Photo: Caroline Quinn

Three youths have been sent forward for trial accused of taking part in a gang attack where a man was stabbed 20 times and forced into the Royal Canal in Dublin.

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A 15-year-old boy and two boys aged 17 appeared at the Dublin Children's Court charged with assault causing harm to a man in his 30s in the early hours of May 18 last year.

They were served with books of evidence and Judge John O'Connor made an order sending forward for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where they will face their next hearing on October 21.

Earlier, it was decided that the case was too serious for the juvenile court and should be transferred to the Circuit Court which can impose lengthier sentences.

Garda Eoin Treacy gave an outline of the allegations during a previous hearing.

He had said the victim left a Phibsborough pub at about 4am with a friend and had been walking home along the canal bank in the vicinity of Croke Park. He sat down on a bench alone while his friend carried on.

Gda Treacy said it would be alleged the man was then set on by four youths and “stabbed 20 times”. He sustained 14 wounds to his back and more to a leg and an arm. The cuts ranged in depth from half a centimetre to four centimetres in length, the court has heard.

The wounds were inflicted by a screwdriver which was later recovered from the canal along with a hooded top.

The court heard that after the man was stabbed he was robbed of his wallet and “pushed into the Royal Canal by his attackers”.

The defence had put it to Gda Treacy that the youngest boy, then aged 14, helped the man out of the water. Gda Treacy agreed the man was assisted but it was unknown who helped him out of the canal.

He then went home and his partner called an ambulance. It was discovered he was suffering from hypothermia and he had fluid in his lungs from inhaling canal water.

The teens were arrested and charged after CCTV footage was obtained by the Mountjoy Garda station detective unit.

The defence said the youngest of the trio had a volatile relationship with his mother when he was younger and he ended up in care.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his social worker, had been put into a number of residential care homes around Ireland but often went missing.

The defence said the boy “has been moved from pillar to post” and was living in a hostel at the time of the alleged incident.

Judge John O'Connor said the incident was horrific and “breaks all the barriers” when he refused jurisdiction. The three youths, who have not yet entered pleas, have been granted bail.

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