Monday 25 June 2018

Teens used gay dating app to lure victim to vicious robbery

Joshua Friel (left) and Eoin Rafferty, beat their victim with a baseball bat (North West Newspix)
Joshua Friel (left) and Eoin Rafferty, beat their victim with a baseball bat (North West Newspix)
Eoin Rafferty and Joshua Friel, pictured, beat their victim with a baseball bat (North West Newspix)
Eoin Rafferty, pictured, and Joshua Friel beat their victim with a baseball bat (North West Newspix)

Stephen Maguire

TWO men who used a gay dating app to lure a man to a Donegal village before beating and robbing him have agreed to pay their victim €4,000.

The two young men appeared at Letterkenny District Court where they pleaded guilty to robbery, assault causing harm, and criminal damage.

Joshua Friel (19), of Castle Park, Newtowncunningham, and Eoin Curley Rafferty (18), of Westfield, Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal, beat their victim with a baseball bat and robbed him of cash and a mobile phone during the savage and unprovoked attack.

The case was before the court yesterday for sentencing. Judge Paul Kelly described the incident as a “particularly mean-minded attack”. The victim, a foreign national who was visiting Derry, suffered bruising and suspected broken ribs in the attack and required hospital treatment.

Judge Kelly asked the accused men’s solicitor if they had any recompense to give to the injured man.

He said: “Clearly this unfortunate young man suffered greatly in what was a particularly mean-minded and calculated attack. He was robbed and had his phone smashed after being lured into an area by another person for the express purpose of carrying out this assault and attack.

Eoin Rafferty and Joshua Friel, pictured, beat their victim with a baseball bat (North West Newspix)
Eoin Rafferty and Joshua Friel, pictured, beat their victim with a baseball bat (North West Newspix)

“The probation report says that they show their remorse but I would have expected more tangible remorse before the courts.”

The men’s solicitor Frank Dorrian asked how tangible and Judge Kelly said he expected a sum of “well into four figures”.

Eoin Rafferty, pictured, and Joshua Friel beat their victim with a baseball bat (North West Newspix)
Eoin Rafferty, pictured, and Joshua Friel beat their victim with a baseball bat (North West Newspix)

He agreed to adjourn the case until July 16 to allow the men time to come up with €2,000 each for the victim.

Friel, then aged 17, arranged a meeting with the victim on the gay dating app Grindr. Friel had swapped pictures and phone numbers online with the man at around 11pm on July 12, 2015, and told the victim he was 17.

They arranged to meet and the man arrived in Newtowncunningham by taxi around 3am to meet Friel. He was directed to a remote area known locally as The Castle where he recognised Friel but was met by three men including Friel and Rafferty, who robbed and beat him. They accused the man of being a paedophile.

The man later contacted gardaí and following an investigation, three men including Friel and Rafferty were arrested.

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