Thursday 14 December 2017

Man assaulted teen he thought had stolen phone

A DUNDALK man who punched a teenager in a row on a bus in which a 12-year-old boy was also hurt had the assault cases against him adjourned.

David Hearty (40), 20 Hughes Park, Dublin Road, admitted assaulting the boys – aged 17 and 12 – on a bus that was leaving Hoey's Lane on September 5.

Judge Flann Brennan was told that the two schoolboys got onto the bus and Hearty turned around in his seat to look at them. It was later revealed that Hearty wrongly thought they had been involved in the theft of his mobile phone earlier that day, which had contained a message from his dead mother.

The youths asked Hearty what he was looking at and the defendant hit out at the 17-year-old, punching and kicking him. The 12-year-old was also hit in the melee.

Hearty was put off the bus and one of the youth's father's was called to the scene. Hearty was spotted by him as he walked away and the gardaí were contacted.

Judge Brennan was told that Hearty has a number of previous convictions.

Solicitor Niall Lavery said the medical report on the youths had shown no lasting injuries. He said that on the day of this incident, Hearty had felt he had been the victim of a robbery when his mobile phone was taken and believed, wrongly, the two kids were involved.

Mr. Lavery said the phone had contained a message from Hearty's now deceased mother. Hearty is a carer for his elderly uncle, who is 'very worried' about this case and concerned 'about how he will cope without David'.

Hearty's uncle had helped to save €900 which was in a court as a token of remorse and was, Mr. Lavery said, 'a considerable sum and a serious demonstration' because the pair are not financially well-off.

Judge Brennan said he wanted to see a probation report but he had to 'take a very serious view of these totally unjustified assaults'.

Judge Brennan said that if Hearty had been a victim of a robbery 'he was not entitled to pursue any action in this way'.

He adjourned the case to July 16 for a probation report and said he didn't think the €900 compensation was adequate.

The Argus

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