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Schoolboy sentenced for sex attack on 13-year-old friend

The defendant was aged 14 at the time of the incident.

Image: PA

A DUBLIN SCHOOLBOY has been given a six-month sentence for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old friend held down in a park as a hairbrush handle was shoved into his anus.

Judge Brian O’Shea imposed the detention order at the Dublin Children’s Court today after noting the boy, now aged 16, had steadfastly refused to attend a treatment programme for youths who have committed sexual offences.

The Probation Service found he was at low risk of re-offending. However, his family had supported him in his decision not to engage in the treatment programme.

His solicitor Lorraine Stephens said the case has also affected the youth. She told Judge O’Shea the boy had remorse and now accepted it was an assault but not the indecency element or a sexual assault.

Pleading for leniency, she asked the court to note he had no prior convictions, was still in school and had not been in trouble since the attack.

The boy, accompanied to court by his distraught mother, lodged an appeal within minutes of sentencing and was released.

His co-defendant, aged 15, who has agreed to engage in the treatment programme, had sentencing adjourned.

They had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the victim in June last year when friends had a kickabout in Dublin.

The defendants were aged 14 at the time of the incident.

In August, following a five-day non-jury trial at the Dublin Children’s Court, Judge O’Shea held that they lied and were guilty.

He had said they had reached the threshold for custodial sentences.

However, he added that they could avoid detention if they completed a Tusla run multi-disciplinary programme for young people who have carried out sexual abuse.

He stipulated that their families also had to be involved in the process, which reduces the chance of re-offending.

The complainant had testified that he lay on the ground facing down after playing football.

The older defendant lay on top of him for a few minutes.

They had been friends and often had “mess fights” because they were interested in WWE wrestling.

However, he remembered that this was different.

He panicked, could not breathe and tried to get his friend off him by pinching him.

He said someone gave a hairbrush to the boy on top of him.

He alleged that boy then “put it up my arsehole” by its handle, and it went halfway up for five or six seconds.

The second defendant, he alleged, “came over and put it right up”. He recalled his shorts and underwear “were twisted into my arsehole” and torn.

He glanced around and could see them laughing. “They thought it was a mess, but it was very serious,” he said. Immediately afterwards, he overheard the second defendant say, “you did it first,” and the first defendant replied, “you are the one who stuck it up all the way”.

It was sore, stinging, and he felt sick and embarrassed afterwards, he had said.

Other people there thought he was shaking with anger, but he told the court it was from feeling sick, scared and embarrassed.

He lay down flat and cried for 10 seconds afterwards. “Everyone was gathered around asking if I was alright. I ignored them,” he remembered.

The boy then got on his bike and headed home. He cried for about 10 minutes there and then went out to get food but could not eat it.

A teenage girl, who witnessed it, said his shorts ripped, and he appeared to be crying afterwards.

She said the first defendant was on top of him and the second defendant then “put the hairbrush up his bum”.

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The first boy, who wrestled with the complainant, gave evidence in the trial.

He told the court they had been laughing and messing, and he got the better of his friend.

He was sitting on his back, slapping the rear of his head and ruffling his hair until he heard, “aargh”.

He got off him, went home for his dinner and did not notice anything, he had claimed.

He denied holding the victim down and claimed he knew nothing about using a hairbrush.

Cross-examined by the prosecution, he said he did not see the co-defendant and was completely unaware anything had happened.

He disputed evidence from the complainant’s mother that he told her “the other fellah did it” when he and his father went to speak to her later at her home. He could not remember saying it was the other boy, but he admitted he might have.

It was put to him that he held the complainant down while the co-accused inserted the hairbrush, and it was something they did together. That was false, he replied.

The victim’s mother told the court that this boy’s father had told her, “your son is only a rat”.

The co-defendant did not give evidence but made a statement to gardai. He claimed the first boy and another youth were on the complainant, which got “out of hand”. He maintained he went over to take the hairbrush from the first defendant.

Delivering a guilty verdict, Judge O’Shea was satisfied the prosecution had established the facts beyond reasonable doubt against both. Furthermore, he concluded that the first boy’s account was “just not credible,” and he had told lies.

Judge O’Shea held that the youth knew his co-accused was there, that a sexual assault was taking place and that he restrained the complainant during his ordeal.

About the author:

Tom Tuite

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