Tuesday 11 December 2018

Teen accused of serious knife attack in Dun Laoghaire awaits DPP decision on additional charges

The scene of the attack (Photo: Mark Condren)
The scene of the attack (Photo: Mark Condren)

Tom Tuite

A 15-year-old Dublin boy accused of a serious knife attack on a woman in Dun Laoghaire has been further remanded in custody pending a decision on whether extra charges will be brought.

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 teen has not made any renewed bail application since then and has remained at the Oberstown detention centre except for court appearances.

He faced his fifth hearing when he appeared before Judge John O’Connor at the Dublin Children’s Court today.

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.

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.

Solicitor Terry Hamilton for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the court today that the Garda file had been received and it was his application that the case would be adjourned for three weeks.

Judge O’Connor said he has still not been given an explanation for the teen remaining in custody and he pointed out that there was just a single assault causing harm charge.

Defence solicitor Dara Robinson said there was a possibility of additional charges. A number of issues were being attended to and based on information from the boy’s psychiatrist these were best dealt with in the teen’s current setting, he also said.

Mr Robinson said there was consent to the three-week adjournment sought by the prosecution. The teen, who was accompanied to court by his parent, remained silent during the proceedings.

Judge O’Connor remarked that there was a deficiency in relation to mental health services and he was not happy with this.

However, he agreed to grant the order sought by the DPP’s solicitor and further remanded the teen in custody to appear again on March 1 next.

At an earlier stage he had said that the Oberstown detention facility was not a respite centre and that he would possibly consider bail based on psychiatric evidence. During the previous hearing, on Jan 25 the defence said he teen was under-going treatment and the parents had “severe concerns for his personal safety”. The defence insisted it would be brought to the judge’s attention if there was an alternative.

The judge reiterated that nothing could be published in any media that could identify the boy.

The teen’s first court appearance involved a lengthy hearing on Dec. 26 before Judge Brian O’Shea who had refused bail. He had noted the evidence of Det Garda Daniel Treacy who had objected to bail and told the court he believed the youth would be “likely to commit murder if released”.

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 had heard.

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