Teen thug attacked man with ripped beer can during crime rampage
A DUBLIN youth, who was “high on a cocktail of drink and drugs” when he tried to stab a security man in the neck with a ripped beer can, has been detained for eight months.
The 16-year-old boy, who expressed no remorse during his sentence hearing, went on a crime spree on same day during which he also stole a woman's phone and mugged a youth who was left traumatised and afraid to walk home alone.
He pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault, criminal damage, possessing a weapon and threatening to kill or cause serious harm, in connection with an incident at a shop in the Dublin 8 district on March 14th last.
He also admitted theft and robbery charges.
“This gives him a chance to come to terms with the appalling crimes he has committed,” said Judge John O'Connor as he imposed an eight months' custodial sentence followed by an eight-month period of post-release probation supervision.
The court heard the 38-year-old shop security guard had already been traumatised by conflict in his home country, Kosovo. He was working at a shop where he allegedly stopped the youth from stealing drinks, and bottles were dropped on the floor.
Garda David Naughton told Judge O'Connor the teenager told the security guard “he would stab him and kill him”.
The teenager's hand was bleeding and he shook it in the watchman's face.
The court heard the boy returned later and was asked to leave but he told the security man he would stab him.
Gda Naughton said the then 15-year-old was pushed out of the shop.
A few seconds later, the teenager came back brandishing a “ripped aluminium beer can in his hand”.
He swung it at the security guard who stood back as the can ripped through his tie and he was then punched in the stomach.
The court heard he experienced the conflict in Kosovo and still had some shrapnel in a leg. He was also suffering from nightmares and post-traumatic stress.
Defence solicitor Aenghus McCarthy said the youth had little recollection of the incident because he had taken a “cocktail of drink and drugs”. His temper got the better of him after the situation escalated very quickly, the solicitor said.
The court heard the youth was addicted to certain tablets.
Later on the same date, the teenager approached a woman and “pushed her in a doorway and took her phone”. Gda Patrick Martin said the teen had already suffered an injury to his hand which was bleeding.
Ten minutes later he went over to a 16-year-old boy at Tyrconnell Road and asked him for a fight, “a straightener”.
Gda Martin said the youth told the boy he would stab him and search him and took his phone and €40 from him. The court heard the young victim was extremely shocked and traumatised and “says he will no longer walk home on his own any more”.
The teenage defendant, who had prior criminal convictions, then approached gardai to look for help for his injured hand at the same time the female victim was reporting the theft of her phone at which point she recognised him and he was arrested.
The defendant, who cannot be named because he is a minor, did not address the court and his mother, who was in tears, confirmed her son wanted his charges finalised.
Judge John O'Connor described the incidents as dreadful and said he could have imposed a two-year term but he told counsel for the defence that he had taken into consideration the teen's age and guilty pleas.