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Boy (15) to be served with book of evidence over Dublin canal stabbing

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Teen accused of taking part in a gang attack where a man was stabbed 20 times and forced into the Royal Canal
Teen accused of taking part in a gang attack where a man was stabbed 20 times and forced into the Royal Canal

A 15-year-old boy accused of taking part in a gang attack where a man was stabbed 20 times and forced into the Royal Canal in Dublin will be served with a book of evidence next week.

The youth, then aged 14, who cannot be named because he is a minor, appeared at the Dublin Children's Court charged with assault causing harm to a man in his 30s in the early hours of May 18 last year.

Judge John O'Neill agreed to a request by the solicitor for the DPP to further adjourn the case until next week to allow more time for the book of evidence to be completed.

Two co-defendants will also be before the court at the next hearing on Aug. 30.

Earlier, it was decided that the case was too serious for the juvenile court and should be sent forward to the Circuit Court which can impose lengthier sentences.

Garda Eoin Treacy gave an outline of the allegations during a previous hearing.

He had said the victim left a Phibsborough pub at about 4am with a friend and had been walking home along the canal bank in the vicinity of Croke Park. He sat down on a bench alone while his friend carried on.

Gda Treacy said it would be alleged the man was then set on by four youths and was “stabbed 20 times”. He sustained 14 wounds to his back and more to a leg and an arm.

The cuts ranged in depth from half a centimetre to four centimetres in length, the court has heard.

The wounds were inflicted by a screwdriver which was later recovered from the canal along with a hooded top.

The court heard that after the man was stabbed he was robbed of his wallet and “pushed into the Royal Canal by his attackers”.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone put it to Gda Treacy that the boy helped the man out of the water. Gda Treacy agreed the man was assisted but it was unknown who helped him out of the canal.

He then went home and his partner called an ambulance. It was discovered he was suffering from hypothermia and he had fluid in his lungs from inhaling canal water.

The teen and other alleged accomplices were identified from CCTV footage obtained by Mountjoy detective unit.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone agreed it was a disturbing incident. He said the boy had a volatile relationship with his mother when he was younger and ended up in care.

He said the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his social worker, had been put into a number of residential care homes around Ireland but often went missing.

He said the boy “has been moved from pillar to post” and was just aged 14 at the time and was staying at a hostel where there was “little chance of anything good coming out of it”.

Judge John O'Connor, who dealt with the issue of jurisdiction during an earlier stage in the proceedings, had said he was aware the boy had a lot of issues but he added that a lot of support had been offered to him. He said the incident was horrific and “breaks all the barriers”. He refused jurisdiction.

The teenager, who did not address the court, has not yet indicated how he will plead, and was further remanded in custody.