Teen avoids jail sentence for burning girl with lighter
A TEENAGER has been spared jail for burning a girl with a cigarette lighter before she was allegedly forced to perform oral sex on another youth.
The schoolboy, who was 13 at the time, had pleaded guilty at the Children's Court to assault causing harm to the girl at a disused house in a north Dublin suburb in mid-2009. He is 17 and has not re-offended since the attack.
Defence solicitor Tony Collier said the youth acknowledges that what he did was wrong and he understood the seriousness of the charge. He also said the boy who has no prior criminal convictions has good future prospects.
The defence solicitor asked that the youth, who did not address the court during his sentence hearing, would be spared a criminal record. He said imposing the Probation Act, even though that is not a conviction, it is still recorded by gardaí. That could hamper the boy's career prospects if he is vetted by a future employer, the defence lawyer said.
Judge Bryan Smyth said it was a serious matter but he appreciated that the boy was very young when it happened. He noted that the teenager, who was accompanied to his hearing by his parents, had complied with an order made earlier to carry out 240 hours’ restorative justice work in the community.
Judge Smyth struck the case out.
The teen had also done work a probation officer and had written a letter of apology for the girl but this was not passed on because she did not want any contact from him.
The teenager was remorseful, has no prior criminal convictions and a probation report stated that he was at a “low risk” of re-offending.
Earlier, Det Garda Donal O'Connell had told the juvenile court that the girl went to a disused house with the boy and “another suspect”. The boy burned the girl by “holding a lit cigarette lighter or a lighter that had been lit and was still hot to her abdomen”. Det Gda O'Connell said that was the extent of the boy's involvement in the assault and the girl was not left with permanent disfigurement or scarring.
After she was burned, she was allegedly pressured into performing oral sex on another boy.
A second youth charged in connection with the incident was spared a criminal conviction last year.