Mother weeps in court as she watches CCTV footage of 'savage' attack
Two more teenage boys are to face circuit court trial over an “absolutely savage” Dublin city-centre robbery where a Chinese national was knocked unconscious and robbed by a pack of teens.
The pair, aged 16, faced a preliminary hearing at the Dublin Children's Court for a ruling on their trial venue. The DPP had recommended they be tried on indictment, in the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.
After again viewing CCTV footage of the incident, in the presence of the boys and their mothers, Judge John O'Connor said it was “gang warfare at its worst”. He refused jurisdiction adding that each time he has seen the footage he was left “equally shocked”.
One of the boys had asked that his mother not be let see the video evidence but the judge insisted she should watch; she was in tears by the time the clip stopped playing.
The pair are part of a group of seven young people, including a 14-year-old girl, who were charged with robbery of the man (28) at Liffey Street in the early hours of July 10th last.
The CCTV footage shows teens surrounding the man who was repeatedly punched, kicked and kneed. They ripped his shirt ripped off him before he was pulled him to the ground where the gang rained kicks to his head and body.
The 28-year-old could be seen trying to protect himself and struggled back on to his feet while the youths had him surrounded and were kicking and punching him. A final blow to the back his head saw him knocked out, flat on his back, lying motionless as his phone was stolen, and his shoes were then taken off his feet by the youths who then fled.
Judge O'Connor said: “I have seen that video on a number of occasions and each time I am equally shocked.”
He described it as “absolutely savage, the whole combination of the gang picking out this person, if you treated a dog like that, it would be very serious, kicking him on the ground, taking items from him, not caring if the poor injured party is alive or dead, it is absolutely appalling”.
The victim suffered cuts and swelling to his face, a lump on his head, bruising on his legs and severe bruising on chest, said Gda Paul Fay.
Judge O'Connor had been asked to retain jurisdiction by taking into consideration their ages. Damian McKeone BL, for one of the boys, also added that his client had taken a cocktail of pain killers and other drugs at the time. He had no prior criminal convictions and had been staying in hostel accommodation at the time as a result of family problems.
As the video was about to played, the teen spoke up saying: “I don't want my Ma watching that” but the the judge said she should see it and she remained in court in tears as the footage was played.
Books of evidence have to be prepared before they can be returned for trial and they must appear again next month at the juvenile court along with two of their co-defendants who also had jurisdiction refused recently.
The DPP has recommended a 14-year-old girl should also be tried at circuit court level; she is on bail and awaiting a final decision on her trial venue.
Another girl, aged 17, had her charge dropped after it was agreed she could be dealt with by cautioning through the Garda juvenile diversion programme, which attempts to steer young people from crime and the courts.
One youth has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing at the Children's Court.