Teen (17) spared sentence for unprovoked attack on man in Dublin city centre

O'Connell Street, Dublin

Tom TuiteSunday World

A TEENAGE boy has been spared a custodial sentence for a "random" unprovoked attack on a man on Dublin's O'Connell Street.

The 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm to the man, 22, during a gang attack on the night of June 11, 2021.

Judge Brendan Toale noted that another person was also involved in the attack, but the boy, then 15, was the only one to be identified and charged.

The man was walking with a friend at about 10.08 pm when he received four punches to the head, fell on the ground, and was set on by two people.

The assault ended when a pal of the victim dragged him into the Burger King restaurant and left bruised and sore.

The defendant had one prior conviction for a breach of the peace, which happened four months after the attack and resulted in him being placed on supervised probation.

The defence asked the judge to note the boy had specific vulnerabilities. The Probation Service identified cognitive and impulsivity difficulties as factors placing him at high risk of reoffending.

Judge Toale said the incident would have affected the victim's "confidence of doing what you should able to do, walk up and down the street without being attacked".

He added that was a serious long-term consequence of the random nature of the attack.

He noted a report on the teen's background, including his lifelong issues and a diagnosis of his intellectual difficulties.

He also noted the boy had been in special care and needed stability, and the Probation Service assessment found he had been "exploited and encouraged in his offending behaviour".

The judge placed him on a 12-month probation bond and warned the teenager this meant accepting further assistance to divert him from reoffending.

He must continue residing in his current care home placement and "stay away from people getting you in trouble".

When told breaking the order could result in a custodial sentence, the boy replied, "Yes, I understand".

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