Wednesday 14 November 2018

Schoolgirl surrounded by group of boys and sexually assaulted, court hears

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Tom Tuite

A Dublin youth is awaiting sentence after he admitted sexually assaulting a schoolgirl who was surrounded by a group of boys on a footpath and prevented from getting away.

The girl, who is in her teens, had been on her way home from school when the terrifying incident happened in north Co. Dublin on a date in 2016.

The now 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court and was remanded on bail today pending sentence.

Judge John O’Connor asked the Probation Service to draft a pre-sentence on the teenager who has to attend a sexual offending treatment programme for adolescents.

In an account of the evidence against the boy, then aged 15, Garda John Delaney said a then 16-year-old girl, “was walking home from school at about 4pm when she was stopped by a group of youths of which the accused is alleged to have been one”.

“She was not allowed to continue on her journey and the accused grabbed the injured party’s breast before leaving the scene,” Garda Delaney said.

He said the girl was “extremely scared, there was no one else in the vicinity, there was no one outside this group that could see what was happening”.

A backpack was also swung at her and the group called her names and abused her before they began to walk away in another direction.

The girl then ran home and explained what happened to her mother who called the local Garda station, Gda Delaney said. From their enquiries the youth was identified as one of the culprits.

He had no prior criminal convictions.

A victim impact statement prepared by the girl was handed in to court.

Defence counsel Alison Fynes asked the court to note the boy had asked her to “apologise most sincerely on his behalf” and she said he was taking full responsibility for his actions.

The barrister said the incident took place two years ago as she asked the judge to note the boy’s his young age at the time.

She asked the judge to take into account the boy made admissions when gardai interviewed him.

He now used his time more positively and had plans to go on to third level education, the barrister said.

The incident happened at a time when he was associating with a particular group of people and was not using his time in a useful fashion, she said.

The teen, who was accompanied to court by his mother, took part in sports and has been involved in a youth club in his community, the court heard in pleas for leniency.

A 16-year-old boy was accused of false imprisonment in connection with incident, a charge he has denied.

It is alleged he had been in the group of youths that surrounded the girl and prevented her from leaving while she was assaulted, the court was told.

He will go on trial in early 2019.

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