Two teenage boys, who admitted taking part in a vicious attack on a Brazilian student in Dublin city-centre on St Patrick's Day, have been given a chance to avoid having criminal records.
The boys, both aged 17, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm to the student who suffered concussion and head injuries when he was attacked at Aston Quay.
The teens, who were accompanied to court by their mothers, had been found suitable for inclusion in a crime diversion programme run by the Probation Service. They have agreed to take part in an action plan of restorative justice activities over the next six months.
One of the boys has also written a letter of apology and the second boy has agreed told the do the same.
Judge John O'Connor ordered them to appear again in April and July to review their progress. If they fully comply they will be spared criminal records as well as possible sentences.
The teens, who remain on bail, have confirmed that they understood what was involved.
Gda John Donnelly told the court, “both males were involved in the assault that led on to Aston Quay, both males did kick and punch the injured party in the head”.
The pair cannot be identified because they are juveniles.
Gda Donnelly agreed that they were co-operative and that one of them presented himself to a garda station a day after the attack. He also confirmed that they have not continued to come to Garda attention.
A probation officer had assessed the pair and concluded they were suitable candidates for inclusion in the restorative justice crime diversion programme which can also include the possibility of a meeting with the victim to learn about the impact of the crime.
Judge O'Connor has also told the pair they faced a very serious charge and the court has a large range of options, including numerous community sanctions, “right up to custody”, but he has also said , “it does not look like it will be necessary to do that”.
He has told them the approach taken in their case allows the offender to “face up to what you have done”.