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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

Dublin girl left 'afraid to leave the house' following 'horrific' attack by teen she met on Facebook

The then 16-year-old boy assaulted the girl in Dublin’s city centre after meeting her online via Facebook in 2014.

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A DUBLIN GIRL was left permanently scarred and afraid to leave her house after being subjected to a horrific attack when she rejected a youth’s sexual advances, a court has heard.

The youth, then aged 16, punched and repeatedly kicked the teenage girl in the head during the attack on a street on Dublin city-centre’s north-side on a date in 2014.

A victim impact statement was furnished to the Dublin Children’s Court. Judge John O’Connor noted the girl was left physically scarred and insecure.

She was afraid to leave the house and had no interest in going to school which had an impact on her education and she had to repeat a year.

She also experienced flashbacks, the court was told. She needed nine stitches to an ear.

In her statement, she described how she used to be confident but is now self-conscious.

“Day to day life changed hugely, I went from being social to not wanting to leave the house,” she said in her statement.

The youth, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and has been warned that he is facing a possible sentence of up to one year. The case was adjourned for a final updated probation report on him to be obtained.

The Dublin Children’s Court heard the unprovoked attack happened after they met through Facebook.

Spurned advance

The court was told the youth walked with the girl from the city-centre, however, he made an advance which was spurned by the girl at which point he he punched and kicked her in the head a number of times.

She was bleeding and hospitalised with head and facial injuries which required stitches, the court was told.

Judge John O’Connor remarked that the girl had a “horrific time and a life changing experience”. He described the girl’s statement and the impact of the attack on her life as moving.

He said while the court had to take the teenager’s age into account in sentencing, he stressed that he also had to consider the victim as well as the public perception of how the court deals with such offences.

The court heard that the youth, now aged 19, who had substance abuse issues, had no prior criminal convictions and has not come to Garda attention since.

Since the teenager entered a guilty plea earlier this year he had missed appointments with the Probation Service which had been asked to provide the court with a pre-sentence report.

Defence counsel had said the youth struggles to express himself and is to take part in counselling.

At one stage, the teenager had tried to write a letter of apology to the victim but was unable to do it, counsel said.

He is about to start a training course, his lawyer said.

Judge O’Connor has said a letter of apology was not sufficient and the teenager had already been warned earlier that he risked facing a 12-month sentence.

He said the victim’s life has been changed forever and he had shown little or no remorse.

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Tom Tuite

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