A youth has been given a suspended sentence for taking part in a vicious attack on a garda who was subjected to “an awful hiding” while in pursuit of a suspect.
The then 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to assault causing harm to the Garda and violent disorder at Shemalier Road, East Wall on September 24th, 2018.
The Director of Public Prosecutions had recommended trial on indictment, meaning the case should go forward to the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.
However, Judge Brendan Toale accepted jurisdiction after noting the teen’s criminal record and background circumstances.
Last June he imposed a three-month sentence but deferred activating it for nine months, during which time the teenager was supervised by the Probation Service.
Sentence not activated
Following a nine-month adjournment, the youth, now aged 18, appeared again at the Children's Court but the sentence was not activated.
The three-month term was suspended on condition he keeps the peace for six months.
In evidence earlier, Garda Sergeant Vincent Campbell said the officer and a colleague were on bicycle patrol searching for a male who had been observed acting suspiciously. They were separated from each other and the Garda tried to cycle through a lane, but he was blocked by a group of youths.
They acted in an aggressive manner and refused to move.
As he attempted to deal with the situation, the accused, then aged 16, launched an attack and punched the Garda in the face several times.
The Garda drew his baton and another male got involved in the attack which lasted 35 seconds.
He lost his baton which was believed to have been taken by one of the youths at the scene.
A passing cyclist went to aid the Garda “as he feared he would get an awful hiding, in his own words”, said Garda Sergeant Campbell.
The injured garda suffered a fractured nose as well as cuts and contusions to his face.
CCTV footage was shown to Judge Toale along with a medical report and photos of the injuries.
The court there were “considerable psychological issues” afterwards and the garda transferred to a different station because he could not go back working in the same area.
The defence had told the court the boy had been exposed to extreme domestic violence from a young age. That would have had a severe effect on him, she submitted.
At the time of the incident the family had been warned of a threat to their safety.
The teen had struggled with issues in school and had been referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
He has been attending a youth club, he had work and was interested in getting onto a construction work course. A probation report found him to be at a low risk of re-offending.
Judge Toale noted mitigating factors and had accepted that exposure to violence at a young age can affect behaviour. The teen’s prior convictions were for motoring and public order offences, nothing involving violence.
An adult co-accused is also before the courts and will be dealt with separately.