Judge further remands schoolboy accused of knife attack, as mother embraces him in court

By Tom Tuite

Gardaí expect to bring further charges against a 15-year-old Dublin schoolboy accused of a knife attack on a woman after allegedly meeting her through a social media website, a court has heard.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, had been refused bail last week after a garda testified that he feared the teen would be “likely to commit murder if released”.

He faced his second hearing when he appeared before Judge Bernadette Owens at the Dublin Children’s Court today.

He is charged with assault causing harm to the woman and production of a knife during the alleged assault at the baths, Queens Road, Dun Laoghaire on Dec. 23 last. He has not yet indicated how he will plead.

The woman, who is 25 and of Irish-Malaysian descent, was found near the baths at around 3.20pm on the date of the incident. She was hospitalised with serious injuries including a horizontal lacerations to her neck.

Dressed in a red jumper, blue jeans and runners, the boy was embraced by his mother when his case resumed this morning. She sat to his right side and kept her left arm around him during the proceedings while his father was seated close to them.

Judge Owens noted the case was listed for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to be conveyed. Detective Garda Daniel Treacy informed the court that so far the only directions were in relation to the charges already before the court. He said further directions were not yet available but he added that “we expect there will be further charges, judge”.

Judge Owens referred to an order made at the boy’s first hearing on December 26 at a special sitting of the Children’s Court for the teen to receive Assessment Consultation Therapy Service (ACTS) while in custody at the Oberstown detention centre. ACTS provides multidisciplinary consultation, assessment and interventions to young people.

Defence counsel Kitty Perle told the court today that an initial assessment has taken place but the full assessment has not yet been done. She asked for the case to be adjourned until January 11. It was hoped the assessment would be finalised by that date and perhaps progress could be made, counsel said.

Judge Owens noted from Det Garda Treacy said that it was not expected that the DPP’s directions would be available on that date.

She further remanded him in custody and adjourned the case until January 11 to see what progress has been made with respect to the assessment. She also told Det Garda Treacy the court will then see how well things are progressing in regards to getting the DPP’s directions and she noted that there could be possible further charges.

The teen remained silent during the hearing but whispered “thank you” to the judge when she made her order.

Following a lengthy bail hearing last week, Judge Brian O’Shea noted the evidence of Det Garda Daniel Treacy, who told the court he believed the youth would be “likely to commit murder if released”.

Refusing bail, he had said it was alleged that the boy engaged the complainant through the Whisper social media app and lured her to various abandoned locations "where he choked her to within an inch of her life to the extent that a tear rolled down her face".

The bail hearing was told they exchanged text messages via the app before meeting in Dun Laoghaire. Gardaí have obtained CCTV footage from the area, the court was also told.

The boy allegedly used a knife to inflict a “lengthy transverse laceration to her neck”, the bail hearing was told. The boy has no previous convictions and no history of drug addiction or abuse, the court also heard.

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