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Friday 20 July 2018

Teen 'attacked couple he had mistaken for two gay men'

Tom Tuite

A teenager attacked a woman he mistook for a gay man because of her hairstyle, a court has heard.

The State was given more time to complete a book of evidence in the case against the boy who launched a serious attack on the woman, and a man. He mistook both for two gay men.

Thinking the couple were men because of the woman's hairstyle, he attacked them on one of Dublin's busiest streets, calling them "f***ing gay bastards".

The 16-year-old boy has been charged at the Dublin Children's Court with assaulting the man, and assault causing harm to the woman on Middle Abbey Street on the evening of January 26 last.

In November, Judge Anne Ryan held the case was too serious to be dealt with in the Children's Court and should be sent forward to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which can impose lengthier sentences.

The case had been remanded until this week to allow the State to complete the book of evidence. However, Judge Ryan was told that it had not yet been completed and the prosecution was seeking further time.

The west Dublin teenager, who is on bail and was not present because of illness, was remanded further in his absence, to appear again in early February when he is to be served with the book of evidence and sent forward to the Circuit Court.

Outlining the allegations, Store Street Garda Jamie Jordan had said the teen approached the man and woman.

"He asked 'are you two gay guys?'. He then hit the man on his face and knocked him to the ground. He attacked the woman, threw her to the ground and kicked her in the back and stomach. He then jumped on the man's back."

When the woman, who had been repeatedly kicked, got to her feet, her face was punched. She suffered bruising but both she and her boyfriend made a full recovery.

Earlier, the court had also heard that the comments made about them being gay men arose from the woman's hairstyle, and during the attack he still thought she was a man.

"Throughout the attack, he made similar derogatory comments, something like 'f***ing gay bastards'," the court had been told previously.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan had told Judge Ryan the boy had never been in trouble before. She said he was admitting that he attacked the couple after he got heavily intoxicated.

When the judge asked if more than one person had been involved in the attack, the boy had replied: "No, just me."

Judge Ryan had said these factors could be submitted to the Circuit Court judge as mitigation in a plea for leniency, at his sentence hearing.

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