Sunday 18 March 2018

Young actor left disfigured after city centre face slashing attack by teen 'in row about drugs'

Corner of Dame Lane and Trinity Street. Inset Prof Stephen Cusack
Corner of Dame Lane and Trinity Street. Inset Prof Stephen Cusack

Tom Tuite

A YOUNG actor was left permanently scarred after a Dublin city centre attack when a teenage boy slashed his face in a row about drugs, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old defendant had been dealing drugs prior to the attack and his temper "flared up" when asked for a refund for selling fake ecstasy tablets, Dublin Children's Court was told.

The boy, who cannot be named, said "I'm very sorry for what I've done" after he was charged with causing serious harm to Andrew Cusack (21) in the early hours of May 2 at Dame Lane.

Mr Cusack is the son of Prof Stephen Cusack, an expert on emergency medicine at UCC.

Judge John O'Connor ruled it was too serious a case for the juvenile court and should go to the Circuit Court.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his visibly upset mother, was remanded in custody.

Gda Keith Connors told Judge O'Connor that he had been on duty in the area when he heard "a loud scream of a male I believed to be in agony". He found Mr Cusack on his knees, screaming, and with severe injuries.

He noticed "a large pool of blood" and said the victim became hysterical and was in extreme pain. He was put in an ambulance and paramedics said he had to get straight to hospital.

Gda Connors learned that Mr Cusack had earlier bought what he believed to be ecstasy tablets from the defendant, but discovered they were not real.

About 40 minutes later, Mr Cusack and his friend ran into the teenager again on Dame Lane and "looked for a refund". There was a row and the boy picked up a glass from a window ledge and "it was thrust directly into Mr Cusack's face".

The teen remained silent during the hearing in which CCTV footage was shown. The video showed the victim and his friend remonstrating with him.

After Mr Cusack was struck, he can be seen in the footage dropping to his knees with blood pouring down his face and dripping on to the ground to form a large pool.

Judge O'Connor heard it is likely he will be permanently disfigured and that could affect his acting career. His lower left lip is permanently numb and may have been weakened.

The teenager was arrested at his home in west Dublin after CCTV footage was circulated to a number of garda stations.

He made admissions during an interview when he was shown the video evidence and became extremely remorseful.

Defence solicitor David Stafford said the teenager would say he sold the men MDMA, an ecstasy substitute, and during the incident his temper "flared up".

The court heard the boy had dropped out of school after the Junior Cert and was earlier diag- nosed with having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

It is suspected he has psychological and psychiatric issues, and he has recently been involved in serious self-harming incidents.


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