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Dublin: 12°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Teenage boy kicked his mother in head during assaults

The boy, who has mental health and substance abuse issues, left his mother fearing for her life.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

A JUDGE HAS praised the bravery of the mother of a troubled youth for the continued support she has given her son who subjected her to a series of serious domestic violence incidents.

The boy has admitted he repeatedly kicked his mother in the head leaving her fearing for her life after he demanded money and new clothes.

The boy, who is 17, had earlier pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to assault causing harm to his mother on a date in September and two other assaults on her at their home during which she had to fight him off.

Judge John O’Connor further adjourned sentencing the youth, who has mental health and substance abuse issues, until a date in February for an updated probation report to be completed. During the hearing he said, given the nature of the case, the mother should be praised for her bravery and the continued support she has given her troubled son.

In evidence given earlier, Garda Keith Brannigan said that during the attack in September there was an altercation between the youth and his mother after she refused to give him money. “He ran over and spat in her hair and kicked her in her ear,” he said.

The court heard the woman, who was not present for the hearing, crouched and he then kicked her in the face and legs and the four times to the head. He then ran after her but stopped and left when a taxi arrived to pick him up, the court heard.

Brannigan showed the judge photos of her injuries and said the woman “feared for her life and feared if he continued to kick her in the head she might not survive”.

The youth was visibly upset as the evidence was given.

The judge was told that on another date there was incident after the boy requested new clothes. The teen shouted in her face and spat in her hair and as she tried to get up he kicked her in the lower back.

The last incident happened in October when the teenager demanded money for new clothes but she told him she did not have any and he would have to wait until the following day.

The youth knocked her onto the ground and kicked her in the head. “She tried to get him off her and scratched him to get him off her,” the court was told. The teenager then left leaving her in fear, the garda said.

Drug counselling 

Defence solicitor Gareth Noble has said the boy is trying to rebuild his relationship with his mother. The court has heard evidence from a youth advocate that the teenager is attending drug counselling and family therapy.

He also got a job with the prospect of learning a trade and had suffered from stress and anxiety for a number of years and felt quite frustrated that services did not listen to him and he “was trying to manage things himself with drug use”.

The judge has said he was of the belief the teenager had mental health problems which were exacerbated by drug use.

He has also said a quarter of the defendants before the Children’s Court had mental health issues.

The judge told the youth the incidents meant he was an abuser and that he was in a very difficult situation in that he was involved in drug-taking and violence to women. The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was warned he could get a custodial sentence.

He has also warned the youth he had to remove himself from his drug-taking peer group and continue to attend counselling. At an earlier stage in the case, his solicitor stressed that, in trying to get help, the youth had once “fallen between two stools” while efforts were made to determine if his issues were connected to mental health difficulties or substance misuse.

There had also been serious self-harm incidents and the teenager had ended up in emergency hostel accommodation until he was taken in by a relative but he is now back living with his mother. He has yet to enter to a plea to a minor drug possession charge.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

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Tom Tuite

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