Sunday 25 March 2018

'Sorry bro, wrong person' - teen (17) who stamped on schoolboy's face in case of mistaken identity avoids jail

The 17-year-old has no previous convictions.
The 17-year-old has no previous convictions.

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A 17-year-old Dublin boy who stamped on a schoolboy's head leaving him with a fractured nose and cheek in a mistaken identity attack has received a three year suspended sentence.

The youth, who cannot be named as he is a minor, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting a teenage male causing him harm in Dublin on July 13, 2014.

The 17-year-old has no previous convictions.

Garda Mark Nolan told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that the school acquaintance had been walking home with another friend after watching the World Cup football final that evening.

The 17-year-old approached in a group, punched the friend and then kicked the schoolboy in the head as he lay on the ground trying to protect himself during the scuffle.

The court heard that one of the 17-year-old's group then approached the injured party and said: “Sorry bro, wrong person”.

The injured party was treated for a nose fracture and two cheek fractures in hospital. He described his confidence as being knocked and said he was constantly on edge, but did not see himself as a victim.

George Burns BL, defending, that his client had €5,000 as a token of his remorse in court.

Judge Patrick McCartan handed the 17-year-old the letter of apology he had written to the injured party and ordered him to read it aloud in court.

Once the boy had finished the judge asked the injured party what he thought, to which the teenager replied: “It's probably the best I'm going to get”. The injured party said he was happy to accept the money.

Judge McCartan commented: “It's not half enough, mind you”.

The judge described the attack as “appalling” and “cowardly” and told the 17-year-old: “You put (the injured party) within an ace of very, very serious injury. I don't know what possessed you.”

He said he would not impose a custodial sentence as the boy had never been in trouble before.

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