Homeless man had lump of granite dropped 28ft on his head during row with teens

Homeless Man Had Lump Of Granite Dropped 28Ft On His Head During Row With Teens
Three boys, aged 16 and 17, are accused of violent disorder, and two of the defendants are accused of assault causing harm to the homeless man.
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Tom Tuite

A man sleeping rough at a Luas station in Dublin suffered a severe head injury after "a lump of granite" was dropped 28 feet onto his head during a "sustained" row with a group of teenagers, a court has heard.

Dublin Children's Court was told on Monday that the incident happened on the night of February 16th last year at Kilmacud Luas station, where the man (39) was left in a pool of blood after he suffered a fractured skull.


Three boys, aged 16 and 17, are accused of violent disorder, and two of the defendants are accused of assault causing harm to the homeless man. The three accused cannot be identified as they are minors.

The trio appeared before Judge Brendan Toale for a trial venue ruling on whether the cases would remain in the Children's Court or go forward to the Circuit Court, which has broader sentencing powers.

Judge Toale agreed with the Director of Public Prosecutions that the case was too serious to accept jurisdiction for one of the 16-year-old boys who was accused of using a plank to beat the man.

He noted that the boy did not inflict the most serious injury, however, he described it as a "sustained interaction with an individual who ultimately became a victim of an assault and violent conduct".


He also said there was a "level of common purpose".

The State must prepare a book of evidence before he is sent to the higher court.


Detective Garda James Mulligan narrated the evidence while CCTV footage of the 50-minute incident was played in court.

He said the man and his partner were sleeping rough in bushes under a gantry bridge at the Luas station. However, they argued about money or where they should stay.


The court heard the three teens disembarked a tram, overheard the couple's row, and became involved.

Detective Garda Mulligan alleged two boys returned to the scene with large planks of wood ripped from a fence across the road. One of the group had a plastic traffic pole.

The teen struck the homeless man's head with a plank, which was later recovered, bloodstained. He also threw planks from a gantry bridge down at the man, who picked up a stick to defend himself.

However, Detective Garda Mulligan said that the teenager did not inflict the more serious head injury.


Cross-examined by defence counsel Amy Hughes, the detective agreed that the youth went to school and had no prior criminal convictions. The teen pleaded, via counsel, to have his case kept in the Children's Court.

The detective also agreed that the man's girlfriend had asked the boys for help when she was having a row about money with her partner.

CCTV footage showed her later using a ticket machine panic button to call for help when she saw the lump of rock hit her boyfriend after being thrown from a 28-foot height.

The woman (38) also alerted an on-coming tram to stop when her partner was lying on the tracks with blood on the ground around his head.


The man was taken to Beaumont Hospital with a fractured skull, and photos of his injuries, including a depression in his skull, were tendered as evidence.

The 17-year-old, who allegedly threw the lump of granite, had his preliminary hearing adjourned so the defence could obtain educational reports on him.

The three teens are yet to indicate their pleas.

The case of the youngest member of the group, who is not accused of assault, will remain in the Children's Court and the matter has been adjourned.

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