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Care home worker denies biting teenager with special needs

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A CARE worker accused of biting a teenager with special needs on the shoulder at a home for people with disabilities has pleaded not guilty to assault.

A row had broken out in the Dublin facility when the alleged assault happened.

Jaiyeola Odubanjo (42) is alleged to have got into a struggle with the boy and inflicted two bite marks on him.

The alleged victim was 17, but had a much younger mental age.

Judge Bryan Smyth, sitting at Dublin District Court, adjourned the case.

Ms Odubanjo, of Tory Square, Blanchardstown, is charged with assault causing harm to the boy at a care home in Dublin in March last year.

She was charged in July, and the case came back before the court for her to indicate a plea.

Her barrister said Ms Odubanjo, who was not present, was "seeking a hearing date".

The complainant had a severe intellectual disability, with a mental age of a seven or eight-year-old child, and the case would take "some time", the barrister said.

The court heard there was no CCTV evidence, but there had been "voluminous disclosure" of documents, with 110 pages including medical reports and statements.

Counsel expected the DPP to apply to have evidence heard by video link.

Judge Smyth adjourned the proceedings to a "case management list" on a date next January, with a date for hearing to be set later.

He remanded Ms Odubanjo on continuing bail.

On an earlier date, Garda Eoin Morrison said the DPP had directed summary disposal of the case at district court level.

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Outlining the prosecution's case, he said the accused was a care worker and it was alleged she assaulted a special needs child in her care by way of two bites to the left shoulder in the course of a dispute in the care home.

The nature of the injury was "the bite marks themselves", with bruising and slight breaking of the skin, Gda Morrisson said.

A medical report was provided to the court, containing images in relation to the injuries.

Judge Smyth asked what the circumstances of the dispute were.

The garda said the alleged victim had a row with a staff member when he tried to take food from the kitchen.

The judge granted legal aid to Ms Odubanjo, who was on unpaid leave from work.

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