Thursday 22 February 2018

Investigation file completed in suspected gay hate attack

An open verdict was returned at the inquest into the death of a Belgian student who
An open verdict was returned at the inquest into the death of a Belgian student who "most probably" had taken cyanide

Tom Tuite

GARDAI have completed the investigation file in the case of a suspected gay-hate attack in Dublin city-centre, a court heard today.

A 16-year-old boy has been held in a detention centre since April when he first appeared at the Dublin Children's Court charged with assault causing harm to a man who was allegedly knocked unconscious when his head was stamped on.

The teen is also accused of robbing the man of a watch worth €1,800, two phones and €300 during the alleged incident in the city-centre's south-side in April.

Garda Shane Mengessidis had told the court at an earlier stage that the case was “complex”. Today he updated the Judge John O'Connor saying the file has now gone to the DPP for directions.

This will help decide the trial venue and whether the case is stay in the juvenile court or instead be sent forward to the Circuit Court which has wider sentencing powers.

Judge O'Connor further remanded the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his lawyer, in custody to appear again in two weeks.

The teenager would not consent to a lengthier adjournment sought by the Garda who also said that a co-accused  will appear before the court next month.

The boy had been remanded in custody by the juvenile court but later succeeded in the High Court in getting bail terms set. However he remains in a detention centre because he has not yet been able to take up the bail which requires a €1,000 lodgement.

Earlier in an objection to bail the juvenile court was told it was alleged the teenager, a co-accused and the man had walked into the lane-way. It has been alleged the man was punched, knocked to the ground and his head “stamped” on rendering him unconscious for several minutes.

It was claimed that following the attack, the 16-year-old, who has not yet entered a plea, and a co-accused, rifled through the man's pockets and took his property

In an objection to bail, the court has heard that when he was later arrested and held for questioning, the 16-year-old boy, who is not an Irish national, confessed to gardai that he hated members of the gay community and he showed anti-gay sentiment.

In the event that he manages to take up bail he must sign on twice daily at his local garda station and stay out of the D.2 area.

Another 16-year-old boy is facing a robbery charge only and is due back in court on July 1.

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