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Terrified father 'a millimetre' from losing eye in knife attack as he protected son - court hears


The Children's Court in Dublin

The Children's Court in Dublin

The Children's Court in Dublin

A terrified father was just a millimetre from losing an eye during a knife slash attack when two teenage raiders forced their way into his home and attacked his son, a court has heard.

Two boys, aged 16 and 17, who cannot be identified, are facing assault, aggravated burglary and criminal damage charges following an alleged incident in Tallaght, at 12.50am on January 15 last.

They appeared before Judge John O'Connor for a preliminary hearing to determine whether their trial will remain in the jurisdiction of the Dublin Children's Court or instead be sent forward to the Circuit Court which can impose harsher sentences.

The DPP has recommended they should be tried in the higher court.

Det Garda Dave Jennings told Judge O'Connor that it was alleged that the man's 17-year-old son had been watching TV in their home when the two youths “forced their way in”.

It was claimed there was a struggle between the youths and the 17-year-old who received “a couple of blows to the side of the head and boxes to the face”.

The 17-year-old boy managed to fend off the two alleged raiders and forced them out of the house. It was alleged that at this point the younger defendant handed a knife to his co-accused and they used it to smash the front door of the house.

The 40-year-old home-owner then came downstairs to confront them. It was alleged the older defendant “swung the knife at the injured party catching him from the base of his nose right up under the eye with the tip of the knife”.

Photos of the man's injuries were handed in to court and Det Gda Jennings told Judge O'Connor that this attack, “could have resulted in the loss of an eye, there was a millimetre in the difference”.

He also said the man and his son were, “terrified, extremely upset and traumatised as a result of this incident”.

Det Gda Jennings said that he and colleagues arrived minutes later and spoke to the man and his son. He alleged that while he was dealing with the victims, the two teens returned to the scene.

Gardai and the man's 17-year-old son then chased them on foot. At this point it was alleged the younger defendant was now armed with the knife and swung it at the victim's son.

Lawyers for the defendants asked the judge to accept jurisdiction and they made submissions under Section 75 of the Children's Act. This lets the juvenile court deal with more serious cases by taking into consideration the age and level of maturity of defendant.

Aoife McNickle BL, for the 17-year-old defendant, who is accused of slashing the man's face, said her client had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and has been attending a mental health clinic for other problems.

However, Judge O'Connor held that this youth's case was “too serious to be dealt with in this court” and he refused jurisdiction. The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, was remanded on bail pending the preparation of a book of evidence.

Meanwhile, the judge deferred ruling on the trial venue for the second defendant to allow time for welfare report to be furnished.

His solicitor Gareth Noble addressed the court and asked for time to be able to obtain updated information on the boy's issues. He said that this boy, who was accompanied to court by his father, has had a “transient lifestyle”, has struggled with addiction difficulties and has also attended mental health treatment.

Online Editors