Saturday 23 February 2019

Schoolboy (15) accused of knife attack 'not the usual type of person in Oberstown detention centre', court hears

The Children's Court, Smithfield
The Children's Court, Smithfield

Tom Tuite

A JUDGE has asked forensic psychiatrist Prof Harry Kennedy to attend the next hearing of a 15-year-old Dublin schoolboy accused of a serious knife attack on a woman he allegedly met through a social media website.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, had been refused bail on December 26 after a garda testified that he feared the teen would be “likely to commit murder if released”. The boy faced his third hearing when he appeared before Judge John O’Connor at the Dublin Children’s Court today.

The boy was further remanded in custody to appear again in two weeks.

He is charged with assault causing harm to the woman and production of a knife during the alleged assault at the baths, Queens Road, Dun Laoghaire on December 23 last. He has not yet indicated how he will plead and the court has heard that further charges will be brought.

The woman, who is 25 and of Irish-Malaysian descent, was found near the baths at around 3.20pm on the date of the incident. She was hospitalised with serious injuries including a horizontal lacerations to her neck.

The court had ordered that the boy was to receive Assessment Consultation Therapy Service (ACTS) while in custody at the Oberstown detention centre. ACTS provides multidisciplinary consultation, assessment and interventions to young people.

Today, the case resumed and Judge O’Connor clarified the reporting restrictions of the Children Act.

He assured the teen’s parents the restrictions remained in place and nothing could be published that could identify their son. The teen told the judge he was not the usual type of person in the Oberstown detention centre.

Judge O’Connor asked that Prof Harry Kennedy would attend the next hearing to see if there was a suitable alternative facility.

Prof Kennedy is a forensic psychiatrist and a director of the Central Mental Hospital.

Detective Garda Daniel Treacy had  informed the court earlier that so far the only directions were in relation to the charges already before the court. He has said further directions were not yet available but he added that “we expect there will be further charges judge”.

Following a lengthy bail hearing on December 26, Judge Brian O’Shea noted the evidence of Det Garda Treacy who had told a special sitting of the court he believed the youth would be “likely to commit murder if released”.

Refusing bail, the judge had said it was alleged the boy engaged the complainant through the Whisper social media app and lured her to various abandoned locations.

The boy allegedly used a knife to inflict a “lengthy transverse laceration to her neck”, the bail hearing was told. The teen has no previous convictions and no history of drug addiction or abuse, the court also heard.

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