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Teen 'danger to society' jailed for vicious city centre attack on sisters

South Anne Street
South Anne Street

A homeless teen who launched an unprovoked attack on two sisters has been jailed for two years.

Kelly McAuley (19), formerly of Camlough Road, Cabra, Dublin, pleaded guilty in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm on South Anne’s Street, Dublin, on May 13, 2016.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced McAuley to three years' imprisonment, with the final year suspended.

“At this point in her life, I would say she is a danger to society,” said Judge Nolan. He said that “the attack was particularly vicious, punches and such like.”

Sgt James Cussen told Maurice Coffey, BL, that sisters Kathleen (66) and Eileen dem Bolton (59) were looking for somewhere to eat on South Anne’s Street when they were approached by McAuley, who asked Kathleen for money.

When she refused, McAuley struck her in the face under her right eye, then struck her again on the back of her head, causing Kathleen to fall to the ground.

Eileen attempted to intervene, pushing McAuley by the shoulders against a shutter. McAuley punched Eileen in the nose, drawing blood.

The sisters were assisted by passers-by and were treated in hospital for facial fractures to the cheek and nose respectively.

McAuley was arrested later that day in Brown Thomas. She was deemed unfit for interview upon arriving in the garda station due to intoxication.

When eventually interviewed McAuley said she could not remember the incident, but accepted full responsibility and expressed remorse.

“I did not do that, did I?” she asked, when shown photographs of the injuries sustained by the sisters.

Tom Neville BL, defending, said McAuley felt “deep, deep shame” for her actions. Counsel said she had been in various forms of care since she was aged 10 and had been homeless for some time prior to the assault.

He said that McAuley had struggled with drug addiction since her early teenage years. McAuley is currently taking methadone and has a cleaning job within prison.

The court heard a victim impact statement from Kathleen dem Bolton. She described how she was no longer able to cycle, walk dogs or travel independently.

“I’m afraid to walk in crowds. I am afraid I will be knocked over,” she said in her statement.

She suffered a stroke seven weeks after the assault, though no evidence was presented to the court that linked the stroke and the assault.

McAuley has 42 previous convictions. They include convictions for theft, assault, criminal damage and misuse of drugs.

She had only been convicted of three offences at the time of the assault, and this was her first conviction in the Circuit Court.