Young thugs who attacked Chinese man were all in care at the time
Seven teenagers who launched a violent city centre attack on a Chinese man before robbing him were all in state care at the time.
Fen Ling Wang (29) was walking home through Dublin city centre at 3am, having finished work in a restaurant, when the five males and two females set upon him. He was knocked to the ground where he received dozens of kicks, many of which were directly to the head.
After Mr Wang was knocked unconscious the gang robbed his phone and shoes before leaving him in the middle of the street. Gardaí in the CCTV monitoring room on nearby O'Connell Street watched the assault unfold live and three of the attackers were caught close to the scene.
The group were on acid at the time of attack and gardaí had to wait six hours before they could interview them.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the attack was so vicious that one of the teens asked gardaí to stop playing the footage during interview because it was upsetting him.
Garda Paul Fay agreed with defence counsel Pieter Le Vert BL that all of the group were in some form of care at the time.
Judge Melanie Greally imposed a suspended sentence of two and a half years on one of the teens and deferred sentencing until October for another. Neither can be named because of their age.
A third attacker John O'Rourke, who is now 18, of Eden Quay, Dublin was remanded on bail until May pending a probation report.
The three accused in court today pleaded guilty to robbery of Mr Wang on Liffey Street on July 10, 2015.
Some of the group have already been dealt with in other courts. One male got a ten month sentence while a girl who was 14 at the time received five months.
Judge Greally commented that it must have been “an extremely frightening and dangerous incident” for Mr Wang and that it was fortunate for both the victim and attackers that he did not sustain more serious injuries.
In a victim impact statement Mr Wang said he didn't realise the extent of his injuries until he looked in the mirror in hospital. He had headaches and painful joints afterwards and had to take time off work while the swelling to his face went down.
Mr Wang added in his report he had incurred significant medical expenses and loss of income as a result of the assault and asked if he was going to have to pay for this.
Gda Fay told Fiona Murphy BL that he and colleagues observed the assault via high quality live CCTV cameras. Footage of the attack from several different angles was played to the court.
As Mr Wang walked on Liffey Street a girl from the group went up and hugged him. Several males then approached and asked for his phone and wallet. They then began hitting Mr Wang.
They pulled his shirt over his head so he couldn't see before kicking him repeatedly while he was on the ground. One male can be seen delivering a final blow which appears to knock Mr Wang unconscious.
Another male then rifled through the victim's pockets and stole his runners. One of them threw a sausage he was eating at the man before they left the scene.
Pieter Le Vert BL, representing one of the youths, who was 16 at the time, said he was an extremely intelligent boy whose life could have turned out very differently.
He said his mother had faced “her own challenges in life” and he was placed in care a year and a half ago. Counsel said the boy had issues with cannabis, cocaine and tablets.
Derek Cooney BL, representing another boy who was also 16 at the time, submitted that there was a “pack mentality” involved in the attack. He said his client was very remorseful and co-operated fully with gardaí.
Counsel for O'Rourke, Sandra Frayne BL, said that her client was now “keeping his head down” and doing courses. She said he couldn't remember the attack because he was on acid.