Saturday 21 September 2019

Young girl 'repeatedly kicked in the head' after rejecting boy's sexual advances, court hears

Dublin Children's Court
Dublin Children's Court

Tom Tuite

A DUBLIN girl was left permanently scarred and afraid to leave her house after being subjected to a horrific attack when she rejected a youth’s sexual advances, a court has heard.

The youth, then aged 16, punched and repeatedly kicked the teenage girl in the head during the attack on a street in Dublin city-centre’s north-side on a date in 2014.

A victim impact statement was furnished to the Dublin Children’s Court. Judge John O’Connor noted the girl was left physically scarred and insecure. She was afraid to leave the house and had no interest in going to school which had an impact on her education and she had to repeat a year.

She also experienced flashbacks, the court was told. She needed nine stitches to an ear.

In her statement, she described how she used to be confident but is now self-conscious.

“Day to day life changed hugely, I went from being social to not wanting to leave the house,” she said in her statement.

The youth, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and has been warned that he is facing a possible sentence of up to one year. The case was adjourned for a final updated probation report on him to be obtained.

The Dublin Children’s Court heard the unprovoked attack happened after they met through Facebook friends.

The court was told he walked with her from the city-centre, however, he made an advance which was spurned by the girl at which she was punched and kicked in the head a number of times. She was bleeding and hospitalised with head and facial injuries which required stitches, the court was told.

The girl provided a victim impact statement, and Judge John O’Connor remarked she had a “horrific time and a life changing experience”. He described as moving the girl’s statement and the impact of the attack on her life.

He said while the court had to take the teenager into account in sentencing, he stressed that he also had to consider the victim as well the public perception of how the court deals with such offences.

The court has heard that the youth, now aged 19, who had substance misuse issues, had no prior criminal convictions and has not come to Garda attention since.

Since the teenager entered a guilty plea earlier this year he had missed appointments with the Probation Service which had been asked to provide the court with a pre-sentence report.

Defence counsel had said the youth struggles to express himself and is to take part in counselling.

At one stage, the teenager had tried to write a letter of apology to the victim but was unable to do it, counsel said. He is about to start a training course, his lawyer said.

Judge O’Connor has said a letter of apology was not sufficient and the teenager had already been warned at earlier that he risked facing a 12-month sentence.

He said the victim’s life has been changed forever and he had shown little or no remorse.

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