Monday 25 March 2019

'Extreme bullying' schoolboy told to pay out €1,000

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David Raleigh

A schoolboy involved in the "extreme bullying" of another pupil will escape a conviction for assaulting the boy, in lieu of a €1,000 contribution to the court's poor box.

The victim (13) was stamped on and repeatedly beaten by older pupils at the school, on unknown dates in March 2015, Limerick District Court heard last year.

At the accused's sentencing hearing yesterday, his solicitor alleged there had been a lack of supervision of students at the school at the time.

Water was thrown in the boy's face, his head was banged against a wall, and, on occasion, he was directed to "kiss the shoes" of the culprits, the court previously heard.

The accused, who pleaded guilty to one count of Section 3 assault causing harm, was one of a number of students involved in bullying the boy, the court heard.

Others were not prosecuted as they had accepted juvenile cautions from gardaí.

Solicitor Ted McCarthy, defending, claimed there had been "little or no supervision" of the students in the school at the time of the bullying, which he said was "akin to a time of 'Lord of the Flies'".

"The school environment these boys were placed into was a disgrace. If there was proper supervision, none of this would have occurred," Mr McCarthy said.

The victim, who was not present in court, was recovering well from the ordeal, gardaí said.

Inspector Helen Costello, prosecuting, told the court: "It was a typical case of extreme bullying. The [accused] was in fifth year and [the victim] was in first year, there was a considerable age difference."

The defendant, who is now at university, was given 12 months to make a €1,000 contribution to the court poor box, in lieu of a conviction for assault, and a €1,200 fine.

Irish Independent

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