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Dublin teen found guilty of assaulting garda in melee which saw female colleague knocked out

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Dublin teen found guilty of assaulting garda in melee which saw female colleague knocked out

A DUBLIN teenager will be sentenced in September for assault and violent disorder during an incident where a garda was knocked unconscious while trying to find a troubled boy.

The Dublin Children's Court heard gardai feared for their own safety after they found the missing boy (13) at a house party but were set on by 15 to 20 youths.

Garda David Egan was repeatedly punched and dragged away by youths while his colleague Gda Paula Carter was knocked unconscious and kicked on the ground.

A probation report on the 15-year-old defendant was furnished and Judge John O'Connor said it showed the teen had limited insight into the affects of the incident. He was under the influence of “various substances” and alcohol at the time but accepted it was frightening for the gardai and he has expressed regret, the court also heard.

The judge noted the teenager has been involved in anti-social behaviour since he was aged seven, he previously refused to engage with welfare agencies and has been hospitalised for substance misuse.

Judge O'Connor also said there were positive factors; the boy is getting involved in a training course, has stopped his drug abuse and has no other court cases pending.

Judge O'Connor said the gardai had been trying to help a missing child and he regarded the teen's involvement in the fracas as very serious. He adjourned sentencing until September and said he expected that an “excellent” probation report on the boy to be furnished in order for him to avoid a custodial sentence.

The 15-year-old boy has been found guilty of violent disorder and assaulting Garda David Egan in connection with the incident in north Dublin in February last year. The repeat teen offender has five prior criminal convictions.

Earlier Gda Egan said a 13-year-old boy was reported missing by his mother who feared he was going to self-harm and had recently been hospitalised for a suspected drug overdose.

He was located at a house where there were 15 to 20 other young people. He and his colleague attempted to speak to the boy but “we were set on by the group”. Gda Carter was grabbed by her shoulders and abuse was shouted at them.

Gda Egan said that as he tried to get the missing boy to their patrol car one youth began “pulling out of me and flung Gda Carter to the ground and kicked her on the ground.”

Gda Egan said he tried to hold that youth but the defendant and two or three other males “were dragging out of me”.

He received punches to the back of his head and the then 14-year-old defendant punched him to the side of his head leaving him slightly dazed. He feared for his safety and that of his colleague.

The court heard the teen had poor recollection of the incident. Gda Carter told the court that when they went to the house there were fears for the welfare of the missing boy who had told his mother he was going to self harm and self medicate. She was verbally abused and the youths would not let gardai talk to the boy, she said.

She described being pulled by her shoulders while her colleague Gda Egan was engaged with two or three other youths. She said she and one youth went to the ground in a struggle but she got back up to see Gda Egan being dragged up the road “engaged in a melee with a number of youths”.

A youth “threw me to the ground and I lost consciousness” she said, adding she feared for her safety during the violent incident. She was taken to hospital and received a stitch to a gash to back of her head.

The officer was upset as she recalled the incident and told Judge O'Connor, “As a result of this incident I am afraid to do my job. I still engage in active duty but as a result of his incident my attitude to the job has changed.

Back up arrived to find Gda Egan attending to an unconscious Gda Carter on the ground. One officer described the scene as: “When we arrived there was lots of excited, aggressive, drunk teenagers”.

The teen's prior convictions were for robbery, production of weapon during a fight, criminal damage and theft and he had previously been placed on probation and received a suspended sentence.