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16-year-old beat man in the face with metal police baton

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
16-year-old beat man in the face with metal police baton

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy beat a man in the face with a metal police-style baton during a mugging in Dublin city-centre, a court has heard.

The teenager pleaded guilty at Dublin Children's Court to charges of attempted robbery and possessing a weapon capable of causing injury or incapacitating a person.

Garda Robert Mahony said that on the night of September 4 last year, he responded to a report of an incident at City Quay. A Malaysian national approached the garda who could see that he was injured and “cut to the face”.

The victim pointed out the youth, who had been detained by members of the public, and he identified the teenager as “the man who hit him with the baton”.

The weapon, similar to those used by police forces including the ASP batons issued to gardai, was shown to Judge John O'Connor.

Gda Mahony explained it was a “retractable metal baton” and demonstrated how the telescopic weapon extended in length.

The court heard the man still suffers from numbness in his mouth and his partner suffered bruising to one of her eyes. They had been walking to their home at the time of the incident.

Photos of their injuries and medical reports were handed in to court.

The teen's guilty plea meant the victim and his girlfriend did not have to give evidence.

The court heard the violent confrontation only lasted a couple of minutes and no property was taken.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, also pleaded guilty separate charge for a theft of bicycle on a date in February last year.

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said the teen's earlier offence did not involve the use of violence.

The court heard the teenager had no prior criminal convictions and accepted he caused the injuries. The lawyer said he was instructed to apologise and it was hoped that could be conveyed to the victim and his partner.

State solicitor Terence Hamilton said that would need to be done in a letter because the man and woman were very nervous.

The boy's solicitor also said the Probation Service, who will be preparing an updated pre-sentence report on the teen, will want to assess issues such as anger and aggression. He also said a probation report that was provided to the court was positive and that was a “good first step”.

The teenager left school after completing the Junior Cert and is now taking part in a training course but hopes to return to mainstream education in September. Mr Noble said the youth did not have any addiction difficulties and has committed family support.

Judge O'Connor said the probation report furnished to the court was positive but it related only to the bike theft charge but the newer charges were, he added, “in a totally different category”, and that was an aggravating factor. “I really have to think of the victim in this case,” he said.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, remained silent during the hearing and was remanded on bail to appear again next month.