Friday 14 December 2018

'Disgraceful behaviour' - Teenagers who kicked and punched homeless man appear in court

(stock image)
(stock image)

Ralph Riegel

TWO teenagers who kicked and punched a homeless man in an unprovoked city centre attack that caused outrage on social media after being captured on video were warned there was no excuse for such "disgraceful behaviour."

Jordan Waters (19) and Ian Condron (18) appeared before Cork Circuit Criminal Court arising from incidents in the city centre which sparked a wave of outrage two years ago.

A pedestrian witnessed the late night attack on the homeless man by three teenagers including the two defendants on October 31 2016.

The concerned individual alerted Gardaí - and then recorded the attack on video via his mobile phone.

Gardaí were later told one of the teens had gloried at the scene in the incident.

The footage was subsequently posted on YouTube and caused public outrage.

Judge Sean O'Donnabhain was told that the video of the attack on the homeless person went viral on social media sites - and was taken up by Irish radio stations and newspapers.

Waters of Mount St Joseph's Drive, Baker's Road, Gurranabraher, Cork and Condron of Monastery Way, Fairhill, Cork pleaded guilty before Cork Circuit Criminal Court to charges arising from incidents in the city centre that Halloween night.

The homeless man targeted by three intoxicated teens was originally from Ennis in Clare.

He was living in Cork city centre in a tent.

The man was assisted at the scene by Gardaí on their arrival but did not want to formally speak to officers.

Similarly, he did not want to go to hospital for medical attention.

However, officers at the scene noted injuries to the man including a lump on the side of his head.

The three teens were located nearby.

All were heavily intoxicated.

Gardaí subsequently obtained detailed CCTV security camera footage which depicted the entire incident unfolding.

The footage showed one of the defendants kicking the homeless man four times in the head and chest.

"This is disgraceful behaviour no matter how much drink you have taken," Judge O'Donnabhain warned.

The court heard that Condron had no previous convictions, had engaged fully with the Probation and Welfare Service (PWS) and was deeply remorseful for what had happened that night.

He had co-operated fully with investigating Gardaí and admitted his part in the incident.

Expert reports indicated he was at a very low risk of ever re-offending.

"He has learned a salutary lesson from this," defence counsel Ray Boland BL said.

Judge O'Donnabhain imposed an 18 month suspended prison sentence warning that the offence was far too serious not to record a conviction.

The court was told that Waters had a number of previous convictions.

The PWS assessed that he was at a moderate risk of re-offending.

However, defence counsel argued that the young man had engaged with the PWS since the incident and was taking firm steps to address the issues involved.

Judge O'Donnabhain adjourned sentencing for Jordan Waters until June 11 to allow for an ongoing assessment of the teen's behaviour.

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