Friday 21 October 2016

Teen accused of attacking girl (14) in playground and causing her to land face first on ground

Published 03/10/2016 | 14:02

The Childrens Court in Smithfield, Dublin
The Childrens Court in Smithfield, Dublin

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy has pleaded not guilty to attacking and injuring a girl on a playground swing.

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The boy, then aged 14, denies assault causing harm to the girl (14) on a date in June last year at a playground in north Dublin. Judge John O'Connor ordered that the trial would take place in mid-November at the Dublin Children's Court.

In an outline of allegations, Garda Vincent Turley told the juvenile court that the girl was playing on a round rocking swing when the defendant and another youth started pushing her aggressively.

Gda Turley said the boy was not known the girl and she told him to stop but he kept pushing harder. The court heard she then “roared at him to stop” as the swing began going very high and she started crying.

Gda Turley said the girl was repeatedly shouting at him to stop and the second youth stood back. It is alleged the defendant kept pushing the swing until it “flipped” and the girl went face first into the ground.

Gda Turley said it would also be claimed that the injured girl was “crying hysterically while the defendant was standing there laughing”.

It was alleged she suffered injuries to her nose, ear and cheek bone which were swollen when the garda arrived a short while later. She has attended hospital and Judge O'Connor noted she had to go through an operation on her nose which he said was quite serious.

Judge O'Connor had to decide whether the case should stay in the juvenile court or instead be sent forward to the circuit court which can impose lengthier sentences.

The teen's solicitor said the schoolboy, who was accompanied to court by his parents, is waiting to be assessed to see if he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The issue of his concentration levels has been raised in school.

The boy did not mean to flip the swing over, the court also heard.

Judge O'Connor did not accept that the girl's injuries were minor and he said they were actually very serious for a 14-year-old, however, he accepted jurisdiction. The defence solicitor then informed the court that her client would be pleading not guilty.

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