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No jail for youth who beat man face with metal police baton

Retractable police baton
Retractable police baton

A 16-YEAR-OLD Dublin boy, who beat a man in the face with a metal police-style baton during a mugging, has been spared a custodial sentence.

The teenager pleaded guilty at Dublin Children's Court to charges of attempted robbery and possessing a weapon capable of causing injury or incapacitating a person.

He was placed on supervised probation for six months.

Garda Robert Mahony said that on the night of September 4 last year, he responded to a report of an incident at City Quay. A Malaysian national approached the garda who could see that he was injured and “cut to the face”.

The victim pointed out the youth, who had been detained by members of the public, and he identified the teenager as “the man who hit him with the baton”.

The weapon, similar to those used by police forces including the ASP batons issued to gardai, was shown to Judge John O'Connor.

Gda Mahony explained it was a “retractable metal baton” and he had demonstrated how the telescopic weapon extended in length.

The court heard the man still suffers from numbness in his mouth and his partner suffered bruising to one of her eyes. They had been walking to their home at the time of the incident.

Photos of their injuries and medical reports were handed in to court.

The teen's guilty plea meant the victim and his girlfriend did not have to give evidence.

The court heard the violent confrontation only lasted a couple of minutes and no property was taken.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, also pleaded guilty separate charge for a theft of bicycle on a date in February last year.

The court heard the teenager had no prior criminal convictions and accepted he caused the injuries. Defence solicitor Gareth Noble said he was instructed to apologise and it was hoped that could be conveyed to the victim and his partner.

The defence agreed that the Probation Service will want to assess issues such as the boy's anger and aggression.

The teenager left school after completing the Junior Cert and is now taking part in a training course but hopes to return to mainstream education in September. Mr Noble said the youth did not have any addiction difficulties and has committed family support.

A pre-sentence report on the youth was furnished to the court yesterday (MON).

Judge John O'Connor imposed a six month probation bond on the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother. The teenager was ordered to continue to work with the Probation Service to address his offending, anger management and victim empathy.

The teenager also has to write a letter of apology. The boy must also stay out of trouble for the duration of the bond but if he breaks the terms he could be brought back to court and face a tougher sanction, including a possible term in a detention centre.