14-year-old girl who sprayed deodorant into Irish Rail ticket inspector's eyes avoids criminal record

CourtsBy Sunday World
'She felt they were being man-handled at the time'
'She felt they were being man-handled at the time'

A 14-YEAR-OLD Dublin girl, who sprayed deodorant into the eyes of an Iarnrod Eireann ticket inspector, has signed up to a crime diversion plan to avoid a criminal record and a sentence.

The young girl had pleaded guilty to Public Order Act charges for breach of the peace and failing to give her name to a Garda in connection with the incident at Merrion Road in Dublin 4 on October 19 last.

Garda Shane Cahill told Dublin Children's Court that the girl, who has no prior criminal convictions, got off the DART and was approached by rail staff.

“She sprayed Lynx deodorant into the eyes of one of the ticket inspectors,” Gda Cahill told Judge John O'Connor. 

The garda arrived at the scene and brought the inspector on a drive around the area during which he was able to identify the girl. “She became abusive towards me and started screaming loudly,” Gda Cahill said.  He made a demand under the Public Order Act for her name but she refused to provide any details and was arrested and taken to Irishtown Garda station.

In pleas for leniency, defence counsel Damian McKeone said there had been an altercation on the train with a member of a group of people who had been travelling with the girl. 

“She felt they were being man-handled at the time,” the lawyer said, adding that the teen, who was accompanied to court by her mother, now says she is genuinely sorry and regrets her actions.

Judge O'Connor noted the teenager, who did not address the court, was agreeable to taking part in a crime diversion plan aimed at first-time offenders and which could leave her without a criminal record. 

Following a four-week adjournment the  Probation  Service had drafted a contract setting out an action plan of restorative justice activities. The girl who was accompanied to the resumption of her case by her mother agreed to sign up to the plan.

The case was adjourned until March when it will be struck out leaving the girl with a clean record if she carries out restorative justice work assigned to her by the Probation Service.  “All you have to do is comply and you will be left without a conviction,” Judge John O'Connor told the teen.

Alternatively, he has warned her, he had the power to also make a parental supervision order or he could consider a sentence.