Teen girls let off over violent attack on mum in gay row
TWO teenage schoolgirls have been spared criminal records and sentences for their roles in a mini-riot in which a couple were beaten after they defended their gay son from taunting.
Dublin's Children's Court heard the woman was set on in her front garden and had a cigarette stubbed out on her face while her husband was also beaten.
The incident happened when about 15 youths were outside their home and one man began making remarks about the couple's son.
Three schoolgirls, aged 16 and 17, have been found guilty of committing a violent disorder. They had no prior criminal convictions.
Judge John O'Connor had ordered two of them to write letters of apology and he said their parents had to be involved and they needed to address the issue of the alcohol they drank "and the torture they put this family through".
Meanwhile, the third girl is to face sentencing in April.
The court heard that they got involved when another girl put out a cigarette out on the woman's face.
Yesterday the two girls appeared again.
In their letters to the court, both expressed remorse and admitted they had been drunk and assured the victims they were not anti-gay.
One girl wrote: "I have talked with my parents on the dangers of under-age consumption of alcohol and this, combined with gang mentality, led to the situation that night.
"No family should have to go through what you did."
The second girl also she had been drinking.
"I was only thinking of myself and having a good time."
She said she was sorry and "I understand it might not be enough but I truly mean it".
The letters were handed over to a garda who will pass them on to the couple.
Judge O'Connor struck out the girls' case. Both girls thanked the judge as they left court.
Judge O'Connor heard the man and woman's son had gone out of their home to walk a younger sibling back from a bus stop. Someone had been throwing stones at their house and there was a group of teenage boys outside.
The woman said: "I could see they were very angry."
She went out and told them, "we know he is gay, it is not a problem".
"Three girls came running at me, screaming, shouting 'who the eff do you think you are?'," the woman said.
She said the girl, who is still awaiting sentencing, had a cigarette and "went for my eye but it hit just under my eye".
She said to defend herself she grabbed that girl by her hair and pulled her down.
She explained that she did this in case the two other girls "went to go on me, they would have to go on her as well".
Her husband was knocked to the ground by a youth who was "punching him and kicking him on the head".
His car was also smashed up.
Another male is also before the courts facing separate proceedings in connection with the incident.