Sunday 18 March 2018

Teen (17) given deferred sentence after man was beaten to the ground in Temple Bar

Temple bar. Picture: Google Maps
Temple bar. Picture: Google Maps

Tom Tuite

A ten-month sentence is hanging over a youth for his part in a gang robbery of a man who was beaten to the ground and left concussed in Dublin’s Temple Bar.

The victim, who is now afraid to go to that part of the city, was attacked and robbed after he refused to hand over his wallet and phone. His attacker, who remains on bail, has been given a deferred 10-month sentence which may be activated in June unless he has co-operated with probation terms.

The 17-year-old boy, who was under the influence of a “large concoction of substances” at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to robbery. It happened at 12.10am on Sept. 24, 2016 at Fownes Street after the man was chased from the Central Bank Plaza.

In evidence, Garda O’Mahoney told the court that he had been attached to a public order unit which had received a call to go to the Central Bank Plaza. The injured party informed him that “he had been beaten up and robbed by a number of youths”.

Garda Ciaran O’Mahoney said the man had cuts and bruises to his arms, legs and his face, and he was bleeding. His Samsung phone and his wallet containing his Leap card and €10 had been taken. Witnesses described how a group of youths approached the man and demanded his phone and wallet and when he refused they chased him to Fownes Street.

The defendant was one of a group who had chased the man and beat him on to the ground and took his wallet and phone, the garda said.

He was identified by witnesses at the scene and on arrest was taken to Pearse Street Garda station.

Garda O’Mahoney agreed with defence solicitor Aonghus McCarthy that the boy “was highly intoxicated and agitated” and “was clearly under the influence of a large concoction of substances”.

He also agreed that the youth, who cannot be named because he is a minor, now appeared drastically different in terms of his respect to the gardai compared to when the incident happened.

The solicitor put it to him that the victim recovered from his injuries which were not long-lasting but the garda said the man still had mental injuries. “Last time I spoke to him he was still worried about going into town,” Garda O’Mahoney said.

However, the Garda accepted that the teen has since “turned his life around” since he was taken in and began living with a close friend’s family. The court was told the teen had no prior criminal convictions and was abstaining from drugs.

Judge John O’Connor had said that while drug use was an explanation for what happened it was not a mitigating factor but he accepted the teen had turned his life around.

A victim impact statement was furnished to the court. The man stated that when he goes out he was afraid if he saw a group of young adults. He said he had never suffered such a traumatic experience in his life.

He sustained a scar and abrasions but because he suffered concussion he had no idea how he got them, he said. He also avoids the area where the robbery happened, they court was told.

The teen pleaded guilty to other less serious public order, bike theft and criminal damage charges.

Pleading for leniency his solicitor said the boy’s home life at the time of the incidents was considerably different and there had been a lack of support from his own parents. He has been included in a bail supervision scheme and the boy had not missed any appointments with their staff who have given a positive report on him, the defence said in pleas for leniency.

Judge O’Connor noted a pre-sentence welfare report stated the teenager was suitable for a probation order. He said he was making a deferred detention order with a 10-month sentence. He said the case was being adjourned until a date in June to see if the teenager co-operated with Probation Service supervision. At the resumed hearing the court will have three options: impose the sentence, reduce it or impose a community sanction appropriate to the boy’s age.

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