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Ballymun man who said he was “weed intoxicated” dodges jail for injuring garda

dublin-circuit-criminal-court (1).jpg
dublin-circuit-criminal-court (1).jpg

A “WEED intoxicated” Dublin youth, who injured a garda forcing him off duty for five months, has been given a six-month suspended sentence.

The then 17-year-old was arrested during an incident in Swords in north Dublin on the night of May 1 last year and kicked a public order van’s back door which in turn slammed against Garda Brian Dromey, the Dublin Children’s Court was told.

The youth had turned 18 by the time of his trial and his sentence hearing.

Judge John O’Connor said today that the defendant, father-of-one Ross Thompson, from Dolmen Terrace, in Ballymun, is now an adult and faces a different sentencing regime.

During his trial in April the repeat offender rejected claims he was drunk and said “I wasn’t alcohol intoxicated, I was weed intoxicated.”

The youth pleaded not guilty to an assault charge which can carry a six-month sentence but was found guilty following his trial in the juvenile court.

Judge O’Connor heard that four youths were arrested after they were shouting and roaring in an aggressive manner and appeared to be intoxicated.

Gda Dromey told the court he was standing at the back of a garda van between its open doors. When the door slammed against him he was knocked to the ground.

His left elbow became swollen and there was nerve injury as a result of which he could not grip things for some time after the incident.

He told the court he was off duty for five months as a result of the injury but he has made a full recovery. Two other gardai described seeing the teenager lash out and hit the van door.

When questioned by gardai, the teenager told them it was not his intention to hurt Gda Dromey. In evidence, he rejected suggestions that he had been shouting obscenities.

Judge O’Connor had said the youth seems to have no remorse and sees himself as a victim. He said the youth admitted he was “intoxicated on weed”, that he was at the very least reckless and had caused a serious injury to the Garda. It was hard to see any mitigating factors, he added.

Other youths at the scene declined to give statements. He had adjourned sentencing until today for a probation report on the teen to be prepared.

Gda Dromey had accepted an apology uttered by the teenager at the end of the hearing in April.

Today the youth’s barrister said the teenager is apologetic, is now taking part in a training course in catering and the birth of his child has resulted in him taking the case more seriously with more insight into and awareness of victims.

Judge O’Connor noted from the probation report that the youth was thought be at risk of re-offending and another problem was his pro-criminal peer group.

However, he also noted the teenager has accepted help from a youth mentoring service and was making efforts in relation to his severe drug taking.

A custodial sentence could have an effect on an injured party, his child, the judge said.

He imposed a six-month term but suspended it on condition the 18-year-old does not re-offend and continues to the engage with the Probation Service for the next six months.