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Dublin: 19 °C Sunday 31 May, 2020

Teen who left young man with autism blind in one eye gets suspended sentence

The attack was videoed by several witnesses on their phones, which was used by Gardaí in their investigation.

File photo: The main entrance to St Stephen's Green.
File photo: The main entrance to St Stephen's Green.

A TEENAGER WHO viciously assaulted a young man with autism leaving him blind in one eye has been given a three-year suspended sentence following a period of probation supervision.

The attack, which occurred in front of scores of mutual friends at Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green three years ago, was videoed by several witnesses on their phones.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard footage from this was used by gardaí in their investigation.

The perpetrator, who is now 17 but was aged 15 at the time, pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to the victim on 13 August 2016. He cannot be named as he is a minor.

The Children Act 2001 allows a court to impose a deferred child detention order, in which the case is adjourned for a maximum of one year under probation supervision. On the adjourned date the judge can impose the period of detention, suspend part or all of it or impose a community sanction.

Judge Martin Nolan said at a hearing last year that it was difficult to know why the accused had acted the way he did and said the case had been a tragedy for the victim and his family.

 He noted the teenager’s age and lack of convictions. He said the boy has good family support and was unlikely to come before the court in relation to an offence as serious as this again.

 He said he felt reform of the child in this case could be accommodated without a custodial sentence.

 Judge Nolan imposed a period of detention of three and a half years which he deferred for one year on condition the boy is supervised by the Probation Service and obeys all their instructions and directions.

 He told the boy that it was a serious case and he should be “terribly ashamed” of what he had done.

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 ”(The victim) will carry with him for the rest of his life the scars of what you did and he will never be able to escape from what you did to him,” said Judge Nolan.

 He told the accused he was being given a “considerable chance” which he should take and if he did not comply with the directions of the Probation Service he would end up in detention.

 Today, Judge Nolan noted that the teenager had engaged well with the Probation Service and confirmed the three and half year detention which he suspended in full.

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Jessica Magee and Fiona Ferguson

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