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Boy punched after helping his sister in fight with girl

A YOUNG man attacked a 12-year-old boy, punching him in the face over a 'falling out' between their little sisters.

The jobless man (21) knocked the youngster off a wall with a blow to the mouth before striking him a second time in the eye and warning, "Don't be hitting girls", Dublin District Court was told.

The background to the alleged assault was a row between their 10-year-old sisters that resulted in one of the girls suffering a broken collarbone.

ASSAULT

Judge Michael Walsh adjourned the case for a week.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to common assault.

His defence has accepted that an assault took place, but insists the accused was not the assailant.

In interview with gardai, the boy said he was sitting on a low wall when a man came over and told him: "Don't be hitting little girls."

The man then said he could not hit the boy because he was too young, but then struck him in the mouth.

The boy fell back with a cut lip and, when he said he would call the gardai, the man replied, "Get the guards, I don't care", and hit him in the eye.

The boy ran home and told his parents, who called the gardai. His eye was bruised and his lip swollen.

The boy told gardai that, a couple of weeks earlier, his 10-year-old sister had fought with the man's sister, who broke her collar bone.

Subsequently, the two girls had a 'little argument' and when it got 'a bit rough', the boy tried to stop them.

He said the man's sister hit him and he hit her back.

The alleged victim said his sister had found out from the other girl the name of the accused.

Garda Derek Ryan told the court he was called to the boy's house and saw the alleged victim had a swollen right eye and a small cut to his lip.

The assailant had put his thumb in the boy's mouth during the assault, causing the cut.

"He was extremely upset, he was crying and shaking," the garda said.

Defence solicitor Dermot Monahan said no evidence identifying the accused had been produced besides the "hearsay evidence of a 10-year-old girl".

THUMB

State solicitor Ruth Collins said the accused was the girl's only brother and it "had to be him".

However, in evidence, the defendant said he had an elder brother. They were both half-brothers to the girl.

He denied ever having met the alleged victim and insisted he did not assault him.

Mr Monahan asked him to stand up, remarking to the court that his client was short, "even to a child".

The accused said he was never invited to make a statement and knew nothing of the case handed a summons.

aphelan@herald.ie


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