herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Teen let off over bullying of family

A DUBLIN youth who was with a gang of bullies who tormented a woman and her family, leaving them "afraid in their own home", has been spared a custodial sentence.

Luke Fitzpatrick (18), from Doon Court, Ballymun, had pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to a harassment charge that could have resulted in a one-year sentence.

APOLOGY

The first-time offender was a juvenile at the time of the offence but had turned 18 by the time he was charged.

Judge John O'Connor noted that a positive probation report had been furnished to the court.

Fitzpatrick had also written a letter of apology to be passed on to the victim.

Judge O'Connor said the offence could have resulted in a sentence or a community sanction, but added: "In view of his age and the circumstances, I am going to strike it out.

"I do not expect to see you in this court again."

Earlier, Garda Ciara Lowry said that on St Patrick's Day last year, Fitzpatrick was among a group of youths outside the north Dublin home of a mother-of-three in her early forties.

"They were drinking and causing a general nuisance and shouting 'rat' at the family," she said.

On June 23 last year, a group had congregated outside the woman's home, and the teen was present when a stone was thrown at the house. Later that evening he "made threats" to the woman's family.

On July 7 last year, he was seen throwing a bottle as another person vandalised the house.

The judge heard that Fitzpatrick was in a group causing hassle on a housing estate.

BOTTLES

They "regularly targeted a specific house", bottles were thrown at it and the family who live there were called "rats".

The woman and her children were left "afraid in their own home", the court heard.

The juvenile court heard that Fitzpatrick had no prior convictions and realises the seriousness of the offence.

hnews@herald.ie

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