Knife attack teen to do three years

Published 29/01/2014|05:20

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A 17-YEAR-old has been given a three-year sentence after he admitted slashing a 22-year-old man in the face at the Market Square during a disagreement over a mobile phone.

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A 17-YEAR-old has been given a three-year sentence after he admitted slashing a 22-year-old man in the face at the Market Square during a disagreement over a mobile phone.

The teenager, who cannot be named after reporting restrictions were imposed on the case, received the sentence at Dundalk Circuit Court last week for what Judge Michael O'Shea described as an 'extremely brutal, violent and vicious assault' which left the victim needing 22 stitches and a very noticeable scar.

The judge heard how the defendant had been with a couple of other teenagers on Park Street on November 23 last year when he noticed the victim, whom he knew, and asked him for the lend of his mobile phone.

The victim gave him the phone and the defendant and his friends formed a huddle, making the victim concerned about getting his phone back. When he asked about the phone, the defendant and the other youths let the victim search them but the phone was gone.

The two others started walking towards the Square and the victim and the defendant got into a disagreement about the phone.

At the Square, the teenager produced a Stanley knife and slashed the victim once in the face, from the forehead to the ear.

The defendant ran off but was arrested by Gardai a couple of days later and admitted attacking the victim, though the teenager initially claimed it was with a bottle, not a knife.

The victim received treatment in hospital and may require future plastic surgery for the scar, which he now covers with a hoodie.

The court was told the teenager, who has nine previous convictions, including assault, had a 'difficult family background' and had spent some time in HSE care after his mother found she could no longer control him.

Barrister Donough McDonough said his client is 'a bright young man' who had achieved good marks in his Junior Certificate, but had started smoking cannabis and drinking at 13 and had also dabbled in cocaine and prescription medication including benzos.

In addition, he had apologised for his actions during Garda interviews and wanted the apology repeated to the victim, though 'that would be of very little comfort'.

Mr McDonough said the youth's family continue to be supportive of him, despite the criminality and his client had admitted his guilt at the first opportunity.

Judge O'Shea said the victim was entitled to feel safe walking home on an evening but he had been subjected to a frightening ordeal.

The judge said he was concerned by the 'shocking and indiscriminate manner' the defendant used the knife.

He sentenced the teenager to three years' detention, backdated to November 26, but suspended the final six months on condition he keep the peace for two years on his release.

The Argus

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