Thursday 18 January 2018

Youth accused of slashing man's neck released pending trial

By Tom Tuite

A YOUTH accused of slashing a man's neck and head in a case of mistaken identity during an attack in a Dublin pub, has been released on bail pending his trial.

The teenager had been charged at the Dublin Children's Court with assault causing harm to the man (25), at the Karma Stone bar on Wexford Street, in the city-centre, on August 25 last year.

It had been held that the youth's case was too serious to be heard in the juvenile court where he was served with a book of evidence today.

Judge Ann Ryan ordered that the teenager is to stand trial at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has wider sentencing powers.

The youth, who had been remanded in custody earlier, was allowed take up bail pending trial but warned him that he must obey a curfew at his south Dublin home between 10pm and 8am and give a contact telephone number to gardaí.

Judge Ryan had heard that the youth intended to plead guilty and at the time had been abusing drugs because one of his family members, who subsequently died, was in poor health.

However, she held that his case should be referred to the Circuit Court, which can impose tougher sentences.

In an outline of the allegations, Detective Garda Mark Kelly had told the city's juvenile court that the 25-year-old man, Edward Dignam, went to the toilet in the pub.

It was alleged the 17-year-old youth “positioned himself at the door leading to the toilet” and when Mr Dignam came out, the teenager “attacked him from behind with a sharp object”.

“He grabbed him by the neck and slashed him from the shoulder, to the back of the neck and head,” Det-Gda Kelly had told Judge Ryan.

He had also said the incident was captured on CCTV, the victim required 14 stitches and he did not know how long the man will be left scarred.

Det-Gda Kelly also said the man “was stabbed in mistaken identity” and it was believed the youth had wrongly suspected him to be someone else. The detective also described the 25-year-old attack victim as “completely innocent and law abiding”.

The defence had said that one of the boy's relation's was ill at the time and he began abusing cocaine and ecstasy.

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