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Gardai nab teen who ‘danced on man’s head’ using ‘Find My iPhone’ app

Scott Cunningham
Scott Cunningham

A Dublin teenager has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years for the burglary of a students' house and an assault during which he stood on the victim's head several times.

One witness described Scott Cunningham (18) as ‘dancing on the victim's head’, while another man was heard shouting “kill him, kill him”.

He was arrested for the burglary after gardaí used the ‘Find my iPhone’ app to track a stolen phone to Cunningham's home.

Cunningham of Kilbarron Park, Kilmore, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary and taking a mobile phone at Beaumont Road, Beaumont, on January 27, 2014.

He also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Felipe Loughran on Westmoreland Street on September 8, 2014. He has 15 previous convictions, including one for burglary.

Judge Martin Nolan suspended the final 18 months of the sentence.

He described the assault as vicious and said Mr Loughran sustained the injuries that would have been expected from the attack. He accepted that Cunningham was not the ringleader in the burglary.

The court heard that Cunningham and an accomplice broke into the house on Beamount Road, having removed a rear patio door. One of the female students woke to find a masked man at her door before she and the other students locked themselves into another bedroom.

During the burglary Cunningham told the student to “shut the f*ck up” before a mobile phone was taken.

Gardaí investigating the burglary used the ‘Find my iPhone’ app on the stolen phone to trace it back to Cunningham's home. During a subsequent search they discovered the teenager asleep in his bedroom with another youth, while the phone was hidden under a pile of mattresses.

Cunningham was arrested, interviewed and released on bail.

Garda Frank Johnson told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that the following September Mr Loughran spotted an argument between Cunningham, his brother Calvin (21), a woman and a cyclist and followed the group, “out of curiosity”.

He said a number of times various members of the group told Mr Loughran to “f*ck off” but he refused to do so.

Calvin Cunningham then approached Mr Loughran and punched him in the face before Scott “spear tackled” him to the ground and stamped on his head three times.

A witness to the assault, who had been working in a nearby Londis, described Scott Cunningham as dancing on the victim's head while another man shouted “kill him, kill him”.

Mr Loughran passed out and was later treated in hospital for a fractured nose and a badly swollen eye which he could not see out for a few days.

Calvin Cunningham is due to be sentenced before Judge Patricia Ryan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after he admitted his role in the offence.

Gda Johnson said Cunningham was later arrested and claimed he had been acting in self-defence after the victim attacked his brother.

A victim impact report from Mr Loughran stated he is “nervous going into town”.

Anne Marie Lawlor BL, defending told Judge Nolan that her client has been on medication since he was six years old to treat ADHD but said he stop taking the tablets because of “health complications”.

She said his mother was a drug addict and his father brought him up. He started to abuse both prescribed medication and illegal drugs and was smoking heroin at the time.

 - Sonya McLean