Young actor can't get roles after face is slashed by Dublin teen in drug row

CourtsBy Sunday World
"Every night I go to bed, I am reminded of what you did to me"
"Every night I go to bed, I am reminded of what you did to me"

A young actor cannot get any roles after being left permanently scarred by a teenager who slashed his face with a piece of glass in a row about drugs, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing serious harm to Andrew Cusack on Dame Lane, Dublin in the early hours of May 2, 2016. He has six previous convictions.

Today Judge Melanie Greally jailed the youth for four years with the final year suspended.

Mr Cusack read a victim impact statement to the court, saying he felt it was necessary for him to come to court to “ensure the boy understood the level of damage” he had done to him.

“You have tarnished my life, my reputation and my face. Every night I go to bed, I am reminded of what you did to me. And when I wake up I am reminded of what you did to me. Every time I meet someone I’m aware of my deformity,” he said.

The 21-year-old told the court that people now “avoid” and "stare" at him.

“I will look like this at every job interview and people will always ask if I’m dangerous and why I got the scars. I’m someone who has decided to follow a passion and this passion was based on my physical appearance. You have made such acting roles unobtainable for me," he said.

The victim said the accused has “sentenced” him to “a life of prejudice” and he has lost friends due to becoming a social pariah.

He had to quit his job as he was too “embarrassed” to face strangers and his depression had deepened, the court heard.

“You have sent me into a psychological breakdown. What you did was vindictive, stupid and cowardly and I am shocked that a 16-year-old is capable of that,” he added.

Kathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Cusack purchased three ecstasy tablets from the accused in Dublin city centre city on the evening of May 1, 2016 but soon afterwards he became aware they were fake.

Later in the night, Mr Cusack and his friend encountered the teenager again and looked for a refund. The victim broke one of the tablets to illustrate to the accused that it was fake.

Ms Noctor told the court that CCTV footage captured the accused becoming enraged as a result of ongoing exchanges with Mr Cusack. The accused walked away but the victim followed him.

The youth then picked up a broken pint glass from a window ledge of a restaurant and struck Mr Cusack on the left hand side of his face.

Garda Keith Connors told the court that he saw the 21-year-old falling to his knees and holding his “bleeding” face.

The accused was later arrested and admitted to gardai that he had picked up the “partly broken glass” and assaulted Mr Cusack with it.

The court heard that the victim had four wounds to the left hand side of his face which include a “large C shape scar that extends across his left lower lip and cheek.” He may be left with permanent numbness and weakness of his lower left lip.

Mr Cusack has been seeing a psychologist since the incident and it is likely he will require further surgery. He has also developed a nervous twitch in his neck and has increased anxiety.

The victim had to terminate his job due to how people “would perceive” his injury and he was extremely conscious when speaking to women.

Handing down sentence Judge Greally told the court that the most serious part of the offence was the point at which the accused decided "in exasperation of Mr Cusack" to pick up a glass and “plunge” it into his face.

“This has had life changing and catastrophic consequence for Mr Cusack," she said.

Upon release the accused must undergo two years of probation supervision and address his substance abuse issues.