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Boy (13) beat elderly man on Luas with iron bar, court told


Incident allegedly happened on a Luas tram

Incident allegedly happened on a Luas tram

Incident allegedly happened on a Luas tram

A 13-year-old boy repeatedly beat an elderly passenger with an iron bar before mugging him in front of his wife on a Luas tram, a court has heard.

Now aged 14, the boy appeared before Dublin Children's Court charged with assault causing harm to the 69-year-old man, having the iron bar as an offensive weapon and theft.

The teenager, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was remanded on bail to appear in court again next month for a preliminary ruling on his trial venue.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has recommended that the case should stay in the juvenile court and not be sent forward to the circuit court, which can impose lengthier sentences.

Judge Brendan Toale said he did not consider it a minor offence, and will hear submissions from the boy's barrister on grounds for retaining jurisdiction.

In an outline of the allegations, Judge Toale heard gardai received a call from the man, who had been travelling on the Luas with his wife last December 23.

Garda Ailis McBrien said the man alleged "the accused got on with an iron bar in his possession, which he used to intimidate the injured party and his wife".

The court heard the teenager waved it in a manner that intimidated the couple.

When the tram stopped at St James's Hospital, the boy allegedly grabbed a rucksack from the man, who tried to chase him.

Gda McBrien said the teenager used the iron bar to beat the man, striking him several times and causing bruising to his lower back and legs.

The man was taken to hospital, the court heard.

CCTV footage of the incident was available, Gda McBrien said.

The boy, who did not address the court, was accompanied to the hearing by a member of his family.

His barrister, Simon Donagh, said he was not yet in a position to comment on the strength of evidence or how the boy was likely to plead.

The Children Act gives the court wide discretion in relation to accepting jurisdiction for a range of serious offences.

Submissions will be prepared by the defence on the teenager's age, level of maturity and possibly other factors relevant to the case, such as whether he wants to plead guilty.

Disclosure of evidence was ordered.