Sunday 17 December 2017

Jogger sent upon by teenage gang after kicking angry dog

Tom Tuite

A 16-YEAR-OLD Dublin boy has been told that he is at “last chance saloon” and could face a six-month sentence for taking part in a vicious gang attack on a jogger who was set on because he kicked an angry dog.

The teenager has pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court. to assault causing harm to the man who was left traumatised and scarred from the attack which occurred on January 21 last at Kilbarron Road, Kilmore, in north Dublin.

Today Judge John O'Connor noted from the teen's latest pre-sentence report that he had not fully engaged with the Probation Service which is helping him to address his offending.

He noted that the boy had written a letter of apology and is going to attend counselling for drug misuse. Defence solicitor Gareth Noble outlined efforts the boy's father, who was present for the hearing, had made to get help for his son who also has an appointment with a youth mentoring service.

The boy also admitted burglary, possessing a weapon and a stolen nat-nav device during an incident last December in which he confronted residents, including an off-duty garda, while armed with a baseball bat.

He had broken into a car park and damaged vehicles before locals managed to restrain him until gardai arrived.

The judge said that the teenager, who is on bail, is now at “last chance saloon” and if he does not begin to co-operate with the Probation Service he would be facing six-month term in detention.

Sentencing was adjourned for five weeks when an updated report on his efforts will be furnished to the court.

Garda Sergeant Keith Halley had told Judge O'Connor that the jogger, a man who is in his 30s, had been out running when a dog started biting at his heels. He had a previous bad experience with the dog and gave it a kick at which three youths including the boy started shouting at him.

The dog belonged to another member of the group, Judge O'Connor has heard.

They caught up with the jogger who received “a number of blows to the face”. “He attempted to defend himself as best he could and subsequently ran away,” Gda Sgt Halley said.

He rang his wife who drove to the scene and then brought him to hospital; his six-year-old son also saw the facial injuries he sustained,the court heard.

The man has made a recovery from his physical injuries but was left traumatised and has a visible scar on his face, the juvenile court has heard.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble has also said that the 16-year-old boy was remorseful.

The lawyer said the teenager is trying to further his education by taking part in a training course and a social worker's report on him has been furnished to the judge who has already read the victim's impact statement.

A 14-year-old boy, who has also been charged over the attack but has yet to enter a plea, is also due to appear again in October.

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