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Sunday 21 September 2014

Teen who refused to name fellow gang members in attack facing nine months in jail

Declan Brennan

Published 03/02/2014 | 15:48

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A teenager who refused to name others in a gang which punched and kicked a man because he said he was petrified of been attacked himself is facing a nine month jail term.

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The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, wanted to have a “straightener” or fight to sort out a problem he had with the victim.

He walked up to the victim and told him this before punching him to the face.

A group of up to seven others then joined in the attack and the victim felt punches and kicks coming from every direction. He was knocked to the ground and the gang continued to assault him.

The youth pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting another youth on the Clonmore road, Tallaght on May 20, 2012.

Garda Darren Rooney told Karen O’Connor BL, prosecuting, that the victim is scarred for life after the attack and is very self conscious of his injuries. He attended counselling and is now afraid to walk anywhere.

Garda Rooney said the accused replied “no comment” when asked to name the other people in the gang.

Judge Patrick McCartan then gave him five minutes to consider co-operating with gardai.

Sarah Jane O’Callaghan BL defending, said her client knew that if names were given arrests would be made quickly and this would be linked to her client.

She said he was petrified that he would be slashed or stabbed by those he named to gardai.

She told the judge: “the reality on the street is that there are reprisals.”

Since the assault the boy has received two convictions in the District Court for public order offences.

Counsel said her client had suggested he would meet the victim in order to make a personal apology to him for his part in the assault. She said he has since engaged in treatment for drink related issues and anger management.

Garda Rooney said the victim had initially agreed to meet the accused in the presence of gardai but later changed his mind.

Judge McCartan said: “There’s very little about him that impresses me. He is a coward. He had his gang and they laid into the victim.

“They kicked him and beat him. Now he’s not prepared to do the decent thing and name those involved. Your client is hiding behind the standard excuse.”

He said he would like to jail the accused to teach him a lesson but he would defer his decision.

He adjourned sentence until April and said that if the youth failed to impress the Probation Services he would be jailed for nine months.

He told the accused: “You put a foot wrong, I’ll be waiting”.

Irish Independent

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