Saturday 18 November 2017

Girl guilty of random street attack has sentence adjourned ‘to see whether medication works’

Tom Tuite

A GIRL who kicked a woman in the head and then allegedly sent her a Facebook "friend request" afterwards, has had sentencing adjourned to see whether medication will improve her behaviour.

The 16-year-old has pleaded guilty at the Children's Court to assault causing harm to the woman, during an unprovoked attack at the Jervis Street Luas stop, in Dublin city-centre, on March 12 last year.

However, she has yet to enter a plea to another assault charge and Judge Michael Walsh heard that while the teen is back in school there are issues over her aggressive conduct there.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said the girl, who was accompanied to her hearing by her mother and social worker, has been attending a clinic which helps young people with behavioural problems. She is taking medication again and it was hoped that this would have a positive effect, the lawyer said.

Judge Walsh adjourned sentencing the girl, who remained silent and chewed gum throughout the hearing, for three weeks.

Earlier, Garda Sinead Gallagher had told the court earlier that the 21-year-old woman had been at the Luas stop when the girl approached. “She kicked the injured party in the face,” Gda Gallagher had said. The woman, who was not known to the girl before the attack, was taken to hospital where she received stitches.

She was left with a small scar as a result of the unprovoked attack and photos of her facial injuries have been shown to the court and to the girl.

Gda Gallagher had also said that in February this year, the woman received a “friend request” from the girl on Facebook.

The court has heard that on the night of the attack the girl had been “under influence and has little recollection of the events”.

Social services have been involved with the teen's family and background and welfare reports have already been furnished to the court.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble had said the girl was “appalled” when she later viewed CCTV footage of the attack. The court has also been told that she has denied sending the online friend request and believed her Facebook account had been hacked by another person.

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