Teen facing trial over vicious Grafton Street assault which left man with fractured skull

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Grafton Street
Grafton Street

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy will go on trial in September accused of assaulting a man who suffered a fractured skull and a bleed on his brain when he was attacked on Dublin's Grafton Street.

The hearing at the Dublin Children's Court had been scheduled to get underway this week but the prosecution's main witness was not available. Judge John O'Connor pushed the trial back to a date in September.

The teenager, who cannot be named because he is a minor, is maintaining a not guilty plea. The boy, then aged 13, is charged with assault causing harm to the man on September 19, 2014. 

The youth, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his grandmother, was remanded on continuing bail pending his trial.

In an outline of the allegations, Garda Niall Kenny said the incident happened at 9.20pm when the accused and seven others friends made their way up Grafton St and stopped outside a shop. 

The victim was on his way home and had stopped off at the shop to buy a cup of tea. When he left he got into a conversation with a member of the group but it is unknown what the conversation entailed. 

The man put his hand on the shoulder of one of them but not in an aggressive manner, Gda Kenny said. When a co-accused, who is not currently before the Children's Court, went to strike him the man avoided a blow by moving and blocking him.

It was alleged the boy and another co-accused then simultaneously punched the man in the face striking him on the nose, said Gda Kenny.

The court heard the man "fell and struck his head off the pavement" while the attackers dispersed.

The court has heard the man suffered a fractured skull and a bleed on his brain and medical reports have been furnished to Judge O'Connor.

He has also watched CCTV showing the man being struck and ending up flat on his back.

The DPP had recommended that the teenager's case could be dealt with in the juvenile court and should not be sent forward to the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers. 

Defence solicitor John Quinn had asked the court to note that the boy was aged 13 at the time.

Judge O'Connor had said he noted the DPP's view and in light of the boy's very young age he accepted jurisdiction.

The south Dublin boy remains on bail provided he abides by a nightly curfew and signs on daily at his local garda station. He has already surrendered his passport and must have a mobile phone so gardai can call him. He cannot have any contact with the injured party, the judge has also ordered.

Legal aid was granted previously after the court heard his parents were not working.