Dublin teen to be sentenced for racist attack on student who lost sight in one eye

Attack: Shattock was arrested by Gardai at his home two days after the incident
Attack: Shattock was arrested by Gardai at his home two days after the incident

A teenager will be sentenced tomorrow for a racist assault on a foreign law student that caused him to lose sight in one eye.

Aaron Shattock of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght,  Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm on August 21, 2013 at exit 11 of the M50 in Tallaght. 

The victim, 19-year-old DIT student Yasser Saud, was in the park with his cousin Hudi Saud and a female friend when they met Shattock and another man who were both known to their female friend.

Shattock and the other man feigned normality until the arrival of a gang of up to 12 others. They then began racially abusing the Iraqi cousins, calling them “Pakis”.

Garda Brian Hurl told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting that the group then began a prolonged assault on the cousins. Shattock picked up a large stick and swung it at them.  He smashed the stick over Hudi’s arm, before another man identified as “Braggo” punched Hudi in the side of the face.

Saud told gardai that the gang then began “laying into” Hudi, while Shattock threw a piece of the broken stick at Yasser from a distance of three feet, striking him in the right eye.

The cousins were punched and kicked several more times by Shattock and other unidentified assailants before the gang fled, leaving Hudi “knocked out and covered in blood”.

Hudi suffered a broken jaw while Yasser suffered severe blood trauma and optic nerve damage to his eye, effectively blinding him in that eye. His vision is not expected to recover.

Reading his own victim impact statement to the court, Yasser said that he is paranoid that people will notice the damage to his vision, and that he can no longer play sports because he has lost hand-eye coordination. He also said that he now “shies away from people” and that his friendships now have “a sympathetic and fake feel” to them.

Shattock was arrested at his home two days after the incident. He disputed the victim’s version of events but admitted throwing the stick at Yasser, saying he didn’t know where it had struck him.

Gda Hurl agreed with Gary Fitzgerald BL, defending that Shattock has no previous convictions, had assisted the gardaí with their enquiries, and expressed genuine remorse for the harm he had caused.  Gda Hurl described Shattock as “not the worst fella I ever met”.

Mr Fitzgerald told Judge Martin Nolan that Shattock completed his Leaving Certificate last year, and is employed full-time. He said that the incident was out of character for him and that he is trying to distance himself from the others involved.