TWO teenage boys have admitted taking part in a vicious attack on a Brazilian student in Dublin city-centre on St Patrick's Day.
The boys, both aged 17, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm to the student who suffered concussion and head injuries when he was attacked at Aston Quay. Passers-by filmed the assault (inset) which went viral online.
The teens, who could be spared a sentence and a criminal conviction, were remanded on bail to appear again in January.
Gda John Donnelly told the court, "both males were involved in the assault that led on to Aston Quay, both males did kick and punch the injured party in the head".
The pair, who cannot be identified because they are juveniles, were accompanied to court by their mothers and their solicitor Philip Hannon who informed the court that a guilty plea was being entered.
Gda Donnelly agreed with Mr Hannon that they were co-operative and that one of them presented himself to a garda station a day after the attack. He also confirmed that they have not continued to come to garda attention.
A probation officer assessed the pair and concluded they were suitable candidates for inclusion in a restorative justice, crime diversion programme, which can also include the possibility of a meeting with the victim to learn about the impact of the crime.
Judge John O'Connor told the pair they each faced a very serious charge and the court has a large range of options, including numerous community sanctions, "right up to custody", but he added, "it does not look like it will be necessary to do that".
He said the approach taken in their case allows the offender to "face up to what you have done".
They will have to enter into a contract with the court to engage with an action plan of work, usually over a six-month period, and if they comply they will be left spared a criminal record.
A probation report with the details of their action plan will be furnished to the court next month.