herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Teenager stabbed and hit with a crutch in 'catastrophic' attack

The teenager had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and violent disorder at a park in north Dublin on September 19, 2015. (stock photo)
The teenager had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and violent disorder at a park in north Dublin on September 19, 2015. (stock photo)

A Dublin teenager who took part in a terrifying assault that had "catastrophic" consequences for his young victim has been given a suspended sentence.

The then 17-year-old victim had managed to run away from a group of youths after being stabbed multiple times in the back, a court was told.

However, when he found it difficult to breathe and slowed down, the group caught up and stabbed him repeatedly. Garda Shane McGrath told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the victim was also hit with a crutch and a baton before a nearby resident chased the group away and took him into their home.

The victim later described to gardai how he believed he was going to die.

As he ran from his attackers with blood pouring down his back he said he felt like he was choking to death and drowning.

The victim suffered several wounds to his back and scalp and had to have his chest drained. He spent more than a week in hospital and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

The court was told failed his Leaving Cert and a soccer scholarship he had been offered for the US fell through as a result.

Rescue

Gda McGrath said the teen was "very well thought of" locally, once being involved in the rescue of a child and adult.

Yesterday a 17-year-old, who knew the victim through school and football, was sentenced to four years detention, suspended in full. He was also ordered to carry out 240 hours community service within 12 months.

The teenager had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and violent disorder at a park in north Dublin on September 19, 2015. He has no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since.

He had hit the victim on the head and legs with a crutch in the first assault and was involved in the second attack when he used the same weapon.

Last month, another 17-year-old who had repeatedly hit the victim on his leg and head with a baton, received a three-year suspended term. He had also admitted the same charges.

Judge Melanie Greally said the victim was "an outstanding young man" with a bright future. "He had opened up a world of opportunity, all of which have been taken from him."

She described the attack as a "misguided act of retaliation" but said the accused had shown an appropriate level of remorse.

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