Teen thug faces one year sentence
A 17-YEAR-OLD boy has been warned he faces a one-year sentence for leading a vicious gang attack on a young man who was repeatedly punched and kicked outside a takeaway in Dublin.
The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, has pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm and violent disorder in connection with the incident on the night of Nov. 14 last.
Judge John O'Connor adjourned sentencing to see if the boy's solicitor can organise a pyschological assessment of the teenager whose behaviour, he said, has become more violent and aggressive. He also noted the boy had tragic personal circumstances.
He was furnished with a probation report and noted the teenager had significant issues which included his peer group, coming to negative attention of gardai, abuse of drugs and alcohol.
He said it was unacceptable that the boy had started smoking cannabis at the age of 12 and anyone who says it is not addictive, “is not living in the real world”.
The court also heard he was spotted in breach of a curfew condition and he was warned that he is facing a sentence of between six and 12 months.
Garda Dave Jennings had told Judge John O'Connor that the victim, a foreign national who is in his late teens, had been at a Chinese takeaway at Kiltalown Way. A group of youths shouted in to him that they were going to rob him when he came out.
When he walked out one of they gabbed the handlebars of his bicycle and the youth then punched him to the side of his face.
The rest of the youths then joined in and they grabbed the man who was repeatedly punched and kicked before his bike was stolen. The defendant struck the first blow but was not involved in the rest of the attack.
The victim fled back into the takeaway but was followed and had to run into the kitchen area for his safety. Gda Jennings agreed with defence counsel Damian McKeone that the attack was not racially motivated.
CCTV footage was shown to Judge O'Connor who described it as a “vicious assault”.
The court heard the teen already had seven prior criminal convictions for assault, drug possession, public order offences and handling stolen property, which led to him being placed on probation.
Judge O'Connor has noted the teenager has been taking part in anger-management counselling and co-operated with the investigation.
He said the guilty plea meant that the victim did not have to give evidence and relive the incident and as a result he would not face the court's maximum penalty, a two-year sentence.
He also warned the boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, that there would have to get a good probation report to avoid a custodial sentence.