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"He was looking at me weird" – boy (16) gets suspended sentence for attacking Sinn Fein councillor’s son

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has been given a nine-month suspended sentence after admitting taking part in a vicious attack on the son of a Sinn Fein councillor.

He had pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm to 18-year-old Ruairi Devine who sustained facial bruising and a cut lip when he was set on by two people on the South Circular Road, in Dublin, January 29 last.

Mr Devine is a son of Dublin South West Sinn Fein councillor Maire Devine.

Judge Ann Ryan was told that the 16-year-old boy and another male attacked Mr Devine who was “repeatedly struck on the face”.

He was not known to his attackers, said Garda Kevin Lawless who had been on patrol at the time and had witnessed the assault in progress.

The victim was kicked a couple of times and both attackers “were swinging punches at him,” the court heard.

Two independent witnesses also saw the incident, Gda Lawless also said.

Photos of Mr Devine's facial bruising were shown to the court; Judge Ryan had heard that he did not go to hospital but was looked after by his mother who is a nurse.

Gda Lawless has also said that the man, who took part in the attack, has been jailed for nine months and both he and then 15-year-old boy had equal roles in the incident.

Counsel defending had said the teenager claimed he struck the youth because he thought: “He was looking at me weird”. The boy has also accepted that he had no reason to attack the young man.

The teenager admitted taking part in an unprovoked gang attack on a 17-year-old boy, who did not suffer any injuries, at the Central Bank Plaza in Dublin city centre last year.

After noting probation reports and a victim impact statement, Judge Ryan imposed the nine-month sentence.

However, she suspended it on condition that the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his mother, did not re-offend for the next 12 months. The teenager must comply with directions of the Probation Service.