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Boy victim suffers but attacker is given help

A 13-year-old boy was left traumatised and needing surgery after an unprovoked attack by an older teenager, a court has heard.

The boy no longer goes out and suffers headaches, his mother said.

But while his attacker, now 17, has been given help, her child had got nothing.

Judge Clare Leonard, who had received a letter from the upset mother of the victim, said Justice Minister Dermot Ahern should be told about the lack of support for crime victims.

In the Children's Court, the judge also urged the boy's mother to contact the Children's Ombudsman, Emily Logan, about "valid issues" she had raised in her letter that there was help "for the perpetrator of a crime, whereas the victim gets nothing".

The 17-year-old youth has pleaded guilty to assaulting the boy in north Dublin, on October 25, 2008.

His case had been adjourned until yesterday for the court to consider an action plan which was agreed by the Probation Service, the defendant, his mother, as well as the victim and his mother, to divert him from crime.

The victim and his mother met the accused in a conference arranged by the Probation Service where the effects of his crime were outlined to him.

As part of plan, it has been agreed that the defendant, who was also accompanied to his case by his mother, would pay €1,500 in compensation, obey a nightly curfew, attend anger management counselling and not consume alcohol.

A letter from the victim's mother, who was also present for the case, was given to court, which Judge Leonard said detailed the "serious repercussions of the attack."

Operation

Her son has had an operation and would have to undergo further surgery to his nose.

Judge Leonard said the victim had been "traumatised, does not go out now and suffers headaches" as a result of the attack.

The mother had also expressed that support was given to the offender but not to the victim. Judge Leonard told the woman: "I think you should send your letter to the Minister for Justice. I think you have raised valid issues here."

Judge Leonard said the court would have little sympathy for the accused, who is due to start a training course, from which he will earn €100 a week. He was remanded on bail for sentencing in July.

hnews@herald.ie


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