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Teen accused of fracturing woman's back with a brush

A teenager has been accused of repeatedly beating a woman with a sweeping brush until her spine was fractured.

Lee Dalton (18) is alleged to have attacked the woman at a neighbour's house while he was still a minor, striking her "many times".

A judge remanded him on continuing bail, allowing the case to remain in the District Court because of Dalton's age at the time of the alleged offence.

The accused, of Carton Way, St Margaret's, Dublin 11 is charged with assaulting the woman at another address on the same street in an incident on August 19 last year.

He was aged 17 at the time.

Blanchardstown District Court heard on the night in question, the alleged victim was taken by ambulance to hospital where she was treated.

It was revealed that she had "a fracture to the spine area".

Because of the extent of the injuries the scene was searched by gardai and a brush found. The defendant was subsequently arrested and detained at Ballymun Garda Station.

An investigation was carried out, a file sent to the DPP and the charge brought against Dalton. The State Solicitor said the DPP was directing summary jurisdiction -- meaning the judge could decide to either deal with the case in the District Court or send it on to the Circuit Court for trial if he thought the potential penalty on conviction was too serious.

Judge David McHugh remarked that the accused was just "over the line" in relation to his age.

He asked the State Solicitor what his options were. She replied that the accused was now an adult.

The judge said he needed time to consider the case and put it back in the morning's list.

When it was called again, the judge said: "By virtue of the fact that the defendant was a minor at the time of the alleged offence, I will accept jurisdiction. It is a borderline case."

The judge made an order for the prosecution to disclose documents to the defence and adjourned the case to March 18.