No jail for teen thug to beat man in unprovoked attack

No jail for teen thug to beat man in unprovoked attack

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy, who broke a stick over a man's back during a random and unprovoked assault, has been spared a nine-month custodial sentence,

He was placed on 12 months' supervised probation by Judge John O'Connor at the Dublin Children's Court.

The teenager had been told in March that he was getting a nine -month sentence, but it was deferred for the same amount of time.

The boy was told it would not be activated if he stayed out of trouble and accepted help from the Probation Service to divert him from re-offending.

The teenager had not been convicted of any further offences since March. Judge O'Connor imposed a 12-month probation bond on him with conditions he must continue to stay out of trouble and engage with Probation Service. He also has to stay in an education or training course and attend a mental service for teens.

The attack victim had told gardai it looked like the boy had self-inflicted wounds on his arms and had been crying during the assault in south Co. Dublin on April 6 last year.

At one stage, Judge O'Connor had described the teen's crimes as “terrorising with impunity”.

He had already imposed a four-year road ban on the boy who pleaded guilty to five counts of dangerous driving, as well as charges for driving without a licence or insurance in connection with an incident on May 19 last year.

The teenager had also admitted trespassing with intent to commit theft at a house in Monkstown, south Co. Dublin on February 11 last year.

He had been spotted breaking a window at the house where he gained entry. However, the teen left the scene, bleeding from his right hand, when the alarm was activated.

He also admitted trespassing at a house in last April, criminal damage to a petrol stations' front door on another date in the same month, damaging a car in May last year, breaches of the peace in 2014 and 2013 and possessing a knife as a weapon on a date in June, 2013.

Previously the boy had been found guilty of taking part in an attack on a school principal, who had tried to defend a 12-year-old pupil from a suspected knife attack. But that case did not proceed following legal argument.

Solicitor Aenghus McCarthy, defending, had furnished the court with a psychiatric report on the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother. He said it outlined some possible side-affects of the ADHD medication Ritalin: manic episodes, lack of sleep and aggressive behaviour.

He said at the time of the offences, the teenager, who is taking part in a training course, was “not in control of his faculties”.

He has also pointed out that since changing medication the teenager's behaviour has changed. The court has heard the boy had been attending mental health services and that social workers have been attempting to assist him.