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Tuesday 6 June 2023 Dublin: 12°C
GoogleMaps Dublin Children’s Court
# Dublin Children's Court
Teenager (16) gets deferred sentence for attack on boy detained in Oberstown
The Dublin Children’s Court was told the pair “hit the injured party a number of times while in Oberstown Detention Centre.”

A 16-YEAR-OLD boy has been given a four-month deferred sentence for attacking another boy detained in the Oberstown Detention Centre for young offenders.

The boy, from Cork, and an 18-year-old youth had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the other boy, aged 16, at the detention centre in Lusk in north Co. Dublin, on May 24 last year.

The Dublin Children’s Court was told the pair “hit the injured party a number of times while in Oberstown Detention Centre.”

“The injured party suffered a chipped tooth,” Garda Cian O’Connor added.

He told the court the chip was to an incisor tooth and the victim needed dental care.
The 16-year-old defendant came back before Judge Brendan Toale for sentencing following a Probation Service assessment.

Judge Toale noted that a victim impact statement had not been provided. Garda O’Connor said that in the week leading up the sentence hearing, he went to Oberstown and let the victim know he was there.

The boy was with his mother and refused to meet with the garda to give an impact statement. He agreed that in effect the teen declined to make one, but he had been given the opportunity.

Judge Toale remarked that the law states not providing an impact statement does not mean a person was unaffected.

Counsel for the defendant said the boy had engaged well in the detention centre. He had taken full responsibility for his actions and the centre had noted a change in his behaviour.

He wished to complete the Junior Certificate and was excited about taking up a place on an educational course when his current detention term ends in July.

He did not wish for his time in custody to be extended, counsel pleaded.

An assault of this type was a serious matter and the court could only speculate about the motivation for it, Judge Toale said.

The fact it happened in the detention centre brought it to a level of seriousness where the boy had come to the threshold for a custodial sentence, he said.

He imposed a four-month detention term, but deferred activating for continued monitoring of the teen’s behaviour, until a few days before his current sentence expires.

The specific reason was to capture any offence that might occur in Oberstown between now and the release date, the judge said.

He told the youth that when the case resumes in July, the court may impose the four-month sentence, suspend it or impose a different type of sanction. If there was a further offence or a breach of rules in Oberstown, a further period of detention will be imposed, he warned.

The teen did not address the court.

The co-defendant is due back in court on a later date. His charge was dropped to a minor assault.

The victim, who is serving a lengthy sentence, did not have to attend the proceedings or give evidence because the pair had pleaded guilty.