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Teen girl pulled garda to the floor by her hair

Teen girl pulled garda to the floor by her hair

A TEENAGE girl, who lunged at a garda and dragged her to the floor by her hair during an attack in a Dublin station, has been given a chance to avoid a sentence.

Then aged 16, she had been missing from care when she attacked a garda who was trying to help her get back to her accommodation.

The young woman, now aged 18, but who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm to Garda Aoife Moroney, who is attached to the child protection unit at Mountjoy Garda station, on April 30, 2014.

Judge John O'Connor noted she been co-operating with the Probation Service, who furnished the court with a positive report on the young woman. A letter of apology from the girl was also handed in to court and defence counsel Damian McKeone pleaded for her to be given an opportunity to avoid a criminal record for the attack.

Judge O'Connor adjourned sentencing until May and indicated that if she does not come to further garda attention she could be spared a conviction.

Earlier, he described the injured garda's victim impact evidence as brave and moving, and added that the case showed how gardai frequently risk their own lives and safety.

The 18-year-old defendant has no prior criminal convictions.

Gda Carl Byrne told the court at an earlier hearing that the teen and another girl presented at Mountjoy Garda station. They had been reported as missing from care and were being dealt with by Gda Moroney who was trying to contact a care home and social workers.

The second girl shouldered her knocking her back into a table and another garda went to arrest her but she resisted and Gda Moroney tried to assist her colleague. Then the teenage defendant, who had been sitting at the rear of the room, “lunged and caught her by the hair, dragging her forcefully to the ground”.

She refused to let go and “it took a number of gardai in order to be able to release her grip after which she was arrested”, said Gda Byrne.

In a victim impact statement Garda Moroney had said she had been attacked by the girl while trying to help her at a time the teen was a “high risk person under a full care order”. She had said she did not think she would feel safe again at work.

After the attack, she suffered pains in her back, chest and arms and had some bruising. She suffered headaches and pins and needles around the area where her head had been pulled. She said he had nightmares and her family are now constantly worried about her.

She had also said she remains extra cautious dealing with young people.

The teenage girl also admitted possessing €20 of cannabis at her room in a care home on a date last October.