A TEENAGE boy has pleaded guilty to taking part in a vicious attack on a garda who was subjected to “an awful hiding” while in pursuit of a suspect.
The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to assault causing harm to a male Garda at Shemalier Road, East Wall on September 24, 2018.
He also admitted he took part in violent disorder in the same alleged incident, which occurred when he was aged 16.
Garda Sergeant Vincent Campbell said the Director of Public Prosecutions has recommended trial on indictment, meaning the case should go forward to the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.
However, Judge Brendan Toale accepted jurisdiction after noting the teen’s criminal record and background circumstances.
Garda Sergeant Campbell said the officer and a colleague were on bicycle patrol searching for a male who had been observed acting suspiciously. They were separated from each other and the Garda tried to cycle through a lane but was blocked by a group of youths.
They acted in an aggressive manner and refused to move.
The court heard that as he attempted to deal with the situation the accused launched an attack on him by punching the Garda in the face several times.
The Garda drew his baton and another male got involved in the attack which lasted 35 seconds.
He lost his baton which was believed to have been taken by one of the youths at the scene.
A passing cyclist went to aid the Garda “as he feared he would get an awful hiding, in his own words”, said Garda Sergeant Campbell.
The injured garda suffered a fractured nose as well as cuts and contusions to his face.
CCTV footage was shown to Judge Toale along with a medical report and photos of the injured garda.
The court there were “considerable psychological issues” afterwards and he transferred to a different station because he could not return to work in the same area.
Amy Deane BL, defending, told the court the boy had been exposed to extreme domestic violence from a young age. That would have had a severe effect on him, she suggested as she pleaded with the judge to keep the case in the Children’s Court.
At the time of the incident the family had been warned of a threat to their safety.
The teen had struggled with issues in school and had been referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
He has been attending a club that keeps youths off the streets, he was looking for work and interested in getting onto a construction work course.
The teen, who was accompanied to court by his mother and a grandparent, did not address the court.
Judge Toale accepted that exposure to violence at a young age can affect behaviour. The teen’s prior convictions were for motoring and public order offences, nothing involving violence.
He granted an adjournment for a probation report to be prepared and added that “all sentencing options remain open”.
An adult co-accused is also before the courts and will be dealt with separately.