Sunday 15 September 2019

Two youths to go on trial for attack on O'Connell Street that left busker blind

Mark Beltran in a photo taken shortly after the horror attack.
Mark Beltran in a photo taken shortly after the horror attack.

Tom Tuite

Two youths are facing trial for taking part in a serious attack on Dublin’s O’Connell Street which left a Canadian street performer blind in one eye.

The pair, aged 18 and 17, appeared at the Dublin Children’s Court where books of evidence were served on them.

Judge John O’Connor said they were being returned for trial on indictment to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where they will face their next hearing on Nov. 10.

He warned them that they must notify the prosecution within 14 days if they intended to use alibis in their defence.

Both are charged with taking part in violent disorder together and with others on Sept. 9 last year.

The older youth has been further charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Canadian street performer Mark Beltran (30) at O’Connell Street on the same date. That charge is under Section Four of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. He was a juvenile at the time of the alleged incident.

His 17-year-old co-accused faces two counts under Section Three of the same Act for assault causing harm to Mr Beltran and another man at Henry Street as well as one further charge for attempted theft.

It had been held that the case was too serious to be dealt with in the juvenile court and should be heard in the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.

Neither youth has indicated how he will plead to the charges.

They were warned they must obey a list of bail conditions which included having no contact with each other or witnesses in the case.

The 18-year-old youth was accompanied to his hearing by his father, however, no family member came to the proceedings for the 17-year-old boy. A woman, who has ties to the boy, has been allowed come to his hearings with him in lieu of a parent or guardian who would normally be required to attend cases in the Children’s Court.

The books of evidence were served by Garda Mark Galligan of Store Street station.

Legal aid has been granted to the defendants.

Mr Beltran, a magician, who travelled the world with his act, was hospitalised and treated with serious injuries which left him permanently blind in his right eye which he has since lost. The busker had been in Ireland for just two days prior to the incident which occurred after he had retrieved an amplifier which had been taken from him while he was performing in the city-centre.

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