herald

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Youth headbutted boy and took his phone on St Stephen's Green

General view of people enjoying the sunshine in St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of people enjoying the sunshine in St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

A young man who headbutted and punched a teenage boy while robbing him of his mobile phone has been given a 16-month jail sentence.

Gerard O'Toole (20) attacked and mugged the 17-year-old as the victim sat listening to music with some friends on St Stephen's Green on a summer afternoon.

Judge Bryan Smyth imposed the sentence after O'Toole pleaded guilty to robbery when he appeared before Dublin District Court.

The accused also admitted a series of separate charges following a spate of thefts and other offences this year.

Last August 4, the victim was with his friends when he was approached by three males, including the accused.

O'Toole said the youth owed him money. When the victim said he did not know who he was, O'Toole told him to hand over his phone.

The youth refused and O'Toole butted him on the side of the head.

The teen held on to his phone and O'Toole headbutted him again, then punched him on the side of the head before leaving the scene.

Accident

Gardai viewed CCTV footage and saw three men on Lord Edward Street matching the descriptions given to them.

When gardai approached, the three ran off and went into a cafe. O'Toole was caught and handed over the stolen Samsung Galaxy phone.

Separately, the court heard the accused stole a bicycle last March.

The victim in that incident saw O'Toole cycling away on the bike, but he was involved in a traffic accident and was knocked off of it.

In a separate incident on November 19, gardai attempted to search the accused. He struggled and was found in possession of a stolen iPad.

In another incident, he shoplifted a €220 pair of Armani sunglasses. He put them in a bag, left the shop and was arr- ested on College Green.

The following day, June 9, he was seen cycling down the Luas line at Jervis Street, shouting abuse and acting in an aggress- ive manner.

When stopped, he did not know who owned the bike and was "clearly intoxicated".

O'Toole had no previous convictions but had a "very dysfunctional upbringing", his solicitor Michael French said.

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