Teen sent for trial for slashing actor's face

Dame Lane
Dame Lane

A DUBLIN youth accused of leaving a young actor permanently scarred by slashing his face with a broken bottle has been sent forward for trial

The teenage boy (16) appeared at the Dublin Children's Court on Tuesday when he was served with a book of evidence.

He is charged with causing serious harm to budding actor Andrew Cusack (21) whose face was slashed with a broken bottle in the early hours of May 2 at Dame Lane in Dublin.

Judge Marie Keane told him that he was being returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he will face his next hearing on Oct. 7. He was granted legal aid and warned he must notify the State if he plans to use an alibi.

The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother and his solicitor David Stafford, made no application for bail and was remanded in custody.

In an outline of the allegations, the Dublin Children's Court was told the 16-year-defendant was allegedly dealing drugs prior to the attack and his temper “flared up” when he was asked for a refund for selling fake ecstasy tablets.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is minor, said “I'm very sorry for what I've done” after he was charged. The victim, Mr Cusack, is the son of Professor Stephen Cusack, an expert on emergency medicine at UCC.

Last month the 16-year-old boy faced a preliminary hearing at the Children's Court to decide if his case should be dealt with there or instead get sent sent forward to the Circuit Court which can impose lengthier sentences.

It was held that the case was too serious to be dealt with in the juvenile court.

In an outline of the allegations Garda Keith Connors said Mr Cusack purchased what he believed to be ecstasy tablets from the boy however he discovered the drugs were not real.

About 40 minutes later Mr Cusack and his friend ran into the teenager at Dame Lane by “pure chance” and “looked for a refund”. There was a row and the boy picked up a glass from a window ledge and “the glass was thrust directly in to Mr Cusack's face”. CCTV footage showed the victim and his friend remonstrating with a youth.

In the video, he could be seen dropping to his knees with blood pouring down his face and dripping on to the ground forming a large pool. Medical reports said Mr Cusack had four scars from his lower left lip across his cheek ranging between four and six centimetres in length.

His lower left lip is permanently numb and may have been weakened. He will also require surgery and treatment for many years. Gda Connors had said the man wanted to be an actor but the attack “may scupper his chances”.

The defendant has not yet entered a plea to the charge. The court heard he dropped out of school after the Junior Cert and was diagnosed with having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Defence solicitor David Stafford had said the teen “fell in with a bad crowd” and was abusing including various tablets, cannabis and cocaine.

It is suspected he has psychological and psychiatric issues, and he has recently been involved in serious self harming incidents. The teen's family life had also been disrupted by him being the victim of severe bullying, the Children's Court had also heard.