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Teen girl dragged garda by her hair during attack

Teen girl dragged garda by her hair during attack

A TEENAGE girl, who lunged at a garda and dragged her to the floor by her hair during an attack in a Dublin station, will be sentenced in September.

Then aged 16, she had been missing from care when she attacked a garda who was trying to get her back to her accommodation.

The young woman, now aged 18, but who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Garda Aoife Moroney, who is attached to the child protection unit at Mountjoy Garda station, on April 30, 2014.

Judge John O'Connor described the injured garda's victim impact evidence as brave and moving and added that the case showed how gardai frequently risk their own lives and safety.

The 18-year-old was accompanied to hearing at the Dublin Children's Court by a care worker and her solicitor Barry Fitzgerald who confirmed the teenager was pleading guilty and has no prior criminal convictions. The teenager remained silent throughout the hearing.

Gda Carl Byrne said the teen and another girl presented at Mountjoy Garda station. They had been reported as missing from care and were being dealt with by Gda Moroney who was trying to contact a care home and social workers.

The second girl shouldered her knocking her back into a table and another garda went to arrest her but she resisted and Gda Moroney tried to assist. Then the teenage defendant, who had been sitting at the rear of the room, “lunged and caught her by the hair, dragging her forcefully to the ground”.

She refused to let go and “it took a number of gardai in order to be able to release her grip after which she was arrested”, said Gda Byrne.

In a victim impact statement Garda Moroney said she had been attacked by the girl while trying to help her at a time the teen was a “high risk person under a full care order”. She said she does not think she will feel safe again at work.

After the attack, she suffered pains in her back, chest and arms and had some bruising. She suffered headaches and pins and needles around the area where her head had been pulled. She said he had nightmares and her family are now constantly worried about her.

She said she remains extra cautious dealing with young people

The teenage girl also admitted possessing €20 of cannabis at her room in a care home on a date last October.

Judge O'Connor adjourned the case to allow time for a pre-sentence probation report on the girl to be prepared.