No jail for thug who bashed Brazilian student on St Patrick's Day

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
No jail for thug who bashed Brazilian student on St Patrick's Day

A TEENAGE boy, who took part in a vicious attack on a Brazilian student in Dublin city-centre on St Patrick's Day, has spared a custodial sentence and a criminal record.

The 17-year-old and a co-defendant pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm to the student who suffered concussion and head injuries when he was attacked at Aston Quay on March 17th last year.

The court had given the first - time offender  a chance to take part in a crime diversion programme run by the Probation Service.

It involves agreeing to take part an action plan of restorative justice activities over a six-month period which can led to keeping a clean record.

Judge John O'Connor was furnished with an updated probation report on the youth and after it was confirmed the teenager complied with the plan he struck out the case.

The teen had also agreed to write a letter of apology to be passed on to the victim.

A second youth, also aged 17, is due to appear again at the same court on a later date.

Gda John Donnelly had told the court, “both males were involved in the assault that led on to Aston Quay, both males did kick and punch the injured party in the head”.

The pair cannot be identified because they are juveniles.

Gda Donnelly agreed they were co-operative and that one of them presented himself at a garda station a day after the attack. He also confirmed that they have not continued to come to Garda attention.

A probation officer had assessed the pair and concluded they were suitable candidates for inclusion in the restorative justice crime diversion programme which can also include the possibility of a meeting with the victim to learn about the impact of the crime.

Judge O'Connor had warned the pair they faced a very serious charge and the court has a large range of options, including numerous community sanctions, “right up to custody”, but he had also said , “it does not look like it will be necessary to do that”.

He had also told them the approach taken in their case allows the offender to “face up to what you have done”.