Tuesday 20 March 2018

Sorry is not enough, judge tells attack charge teen

Tom Tuite

A TEENAGER, who repeatedly punched and kicked a youth to his head during an unprovoked attack, has been told by a judge that saying sorry is not enough.

The 17-year-old boy, who is in care, had pleaded guilty in January at the Children's Court to assault causing harm to the youth, in north Dublin, on July 1 last year.

His case had been adjourned for a probation report to see if the teenager could take part in a crime diversion action plan which could see him spared a criminal conviction.

Today defence solicitor Michelle Finan said the boy's social worker believed his remorse was profound and that the attack was once off incident.

Judge Eugene O'Kelly noted that the boy had no prior criminal convictions and had not been in trouble since. However, to be let take part in the action plan the teenager needed to do more than express his remorse or write a letter of apology, the judge said adding that the boy had to “do something meaningful”.

The boy said he was sorry and did not know what he else he could do short of bringing his victim flowers.

The judge adjourned sentencing and remanded the boy, who was accompanied to his hearing by his social worker, on continuing bail to appear again next month.

He also said that it was noted that the boy has not re-offended and that stands to his credit.

The court has already heard that during the attack, the boy had to be “pulled off” his victim. He apologised to the youth through the Facebook website, the court heard at a hearing in January.

Santry Garda John Twyford had said the teenager approached the youth and “struck him three times” because he had mistakenly thought he had “slagged off” a friend.

The boy had told the victim to “get out of there” but then pursued him, knocked him to the ground and hit him four times until “he was pulled off by passers-by”.

Gda Twyford had also said the youth was kneed in the face and was kicked to the head by the boy after he was knocked on to the ground.

The youth already had already been getting orthodontic treatment which was disrupted as a result of the injuries he sustained in the attack, however, he has recovered.

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