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Man jailed Teenage girls' row on Facebook led to 'savage' stabbing, court hears

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 Lucy Ennis (21) and Jordan Ennis (23)

Lucy Ennis (21) and Jordan Ennis (23)

Lucy Ennis (21) and Jordan Ennis (23)

A judge has jailed a man who was a teenager when he carried out a “savage” knife attack after a row between teenage girls about Facebook comments became violent.

Judge Martin Nolan said that he did not know “what got into” or “what demon possessed” Jordan Ennis who was 17 when he repeatedly stabbed the victim.

The victim had intervened to help a girl he knew when he saw a group of girls, including Ennis's 16 year old sister Lucy, shouting at her and accusing her of “putting stuff up on Facebook” about one of them.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Lucy Ennis later phoned her brother and told him the victim had attacked her.

Lawyers for Jordan Ennis said he was otherwise “a law-abiding young man” who that night felt he “had to act the tough guy” and made a “disastrous decision”.

The victim was leaving a fast food restaurant a short time later when Ennis and his sister and others approached him. Ms Ennis was “going mental” and screaming that the victim had hit her.

Her brother said “Lucy you better not be lying” before grabbing the victim and stabbing him four to five times in the back.

A number of other male teenagers became involved in attacking the victim, using crutches to hit him around the head and body and the victim eventually collapsed and lost consciousness.

Jordan Ennis of Primrose Grove, Darndale, Dublin and Lucy Ennis of Parkside Avenue, Malahide Road, Balgriffin, Dublin pleaded guilty to violent disorder and assault causing harm at Edenmore Park, Raheny on September 19, 2015.

Judge Nolan said Lucy Ennis had “probably misinformed” her brother. She said she was foolish and stupid but did not deserve to be jailed. He imposed a suspended prison term of 18 months.

Ronan Munro SC, defending, said that Ms Ennis had not come to garda attention before the attack or since and had a background of mental health issues at the time.

Judge Nolan said that he accepted that Jordan Ennis believed his sister's accusations. He said Ennis acted on these in a “very, very savage way”.

“I don't know what demon possessed him on the night,” Judge Nolan said. He noted that after the victim managed to run away from his attackers and collapsed, Ennis and others attacked him again, with Ennis again stabbing him repeatedly.

The victim was hospitalised for ten days with incisions to his shoulder and back.

Judge Nolan said it wouldn't have been surprising if the victim had died such was the “savagery” of the attack. He said that before mitigation Ennis' actions merited a sentence of around four years.

He reduced this to two and a half years after noting his guilty plea, his lack of convictions before or since the attack, his pro-social activities and his good employment history.

He also noted a defence submission that Ennis came from a deprived community blighted by criminality but had never before been involved in crime and is unlikely to be so again.

He suspended the final year of the sentence on condition that Ennis keep the peace and that he hand over a sum of €14,249 which Ennis had offered as a token of remorse to the victim.

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The court heard the money was the full payment of a recent personal injury award to Ennis.

Co-accused Aaron Flanagan (23) of Macroom Road, Coolock, Dublin also pleaded guilty to violent disorder and assault causing harm.

The court heard that Flanagan was one of the teenagers who began hitting the victim with a crutch after Ennis initiated the attack.

Imposing a suspended prison term of two years on Flanagan, Judge Nolan said the most important mitigating factor for him was his age at the time. He ordered that Flanagan be of good behaviour for the two year period.

At the sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Shane McGrath testified that the victim was in the park when he saw a group of four teenage girls were shouting at a girl he knew, accusing her of “putting stuff up on Facebook” about one of them.

The victim told the girl she should leave the park and he began walking her out. The four girls followed and he told the girl to run.

He turned to speak to Ms Ennis and told her there was “no need to be fighting”. She started to punch and kick him while he tried to hold her back.

After he saw the single girl had gotten away, the victim left the scene but the four girls followed him and accused him of “hitting” Ms Ennis and called him a “scumbag”.

Ms Ennis threatened him that he would be harmed and the court heard she phoned her brother and told him the victim had hit her.

James McCullough BL, defending Jordan Ennis, told the court that his client felt he “had to act the tough guy” and made a “disastrous decision”. The victim was leaving a fast food restaurant later that evening when Ennis and his sister and others approached him.

The court heard Ms Ennis was “going mental” and screaming that he had hit her but the victim denied this.

Her brother said “Lucy you better not be lying” before grabbing the victim and stabbing him four to five times in the back. Flanagan and another man began hitting the victim around the head and body with crutches.

The court heard the “terrified” victim “ran for his life” and had got some distance away before he ran out of energy and collapsed.

Another male teenager caught up with him and dragged him back down the road where he was again assaulted, including being stabbed again by Jordan Ennis.

The victim was brought away from the scene by an older man and later lost consciousness before being brought to hospital.

Detective Garda Brian Healy agreed with Ronan Munro SC, defending Ms Ennis, that his client had never come to garda attention before the incident or since it.

Judge Nolan said it could be suggested that Ms Ennis “was the instigator”. Mr Munro replied that at the time his client was a 15 year old with a background of mental health issues.

He said she felt humiliated and called her brother but that “after that individuals made choices and decisions were made later which were not her decisions”. Garda Healy agreed with counsel that his client did not take part in the altercation in which the victim was stabbed.

Mr Munro said his client has had a child with her partner since the incident, but that her boyfriend was killed a few months after their son was born.

Det Gda Healy agreed with Mr McCullough that Jordan Ennis was previously a “law-abiding young man” and this attack was “completely out of character”.

The court heard his older brother Jamie Ennis was murdered and Mr McCullough said his client was a different person but on the night “it was almost as if he had to replace what his older brother would have done”.

He said his client was now aware of the consequences of his actions and had brought €14,000 to court to offer the victim as a token of his remorse.

Justin McQuaid BL, for Flanagan, told the court that his client deeply regrets getting involved in the attack. He said that he realised things had gotten out of hand and didn't get involved in the second attack.

He said his client is in a long term relationship now and is working and coaching football.

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