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Teen who filmed ‘stomach-churning’ attack on vulnerable man stays on probation

admin | June 8, 2022

A Dublin youth who filmed a “stomach-churning” attack on a vulnerable man will remain on supervised probation for another four months. Dublin Children’s Court heard the victim in his 60s with an acquired brain injury was “effectively a prisoner for three days of this young man”. In November, Judge Paul Kelly, furnished with updated reports, imposed a 12-month probation bond on the 17-year-old boy who had started to address his drug problem. However, while the youth has not come to further garda attention, he soon stopped co-operating. Consequently, the Probation Service re-entered the case for breaching the terms and a deterioration in his behaviour at home, significant cannabis misuse, and attendance at a project to assist young offenders. However, defence solicitor Brian Keenan told Judge Kelly things had improved. He said the teenager has taken up and goes to a programme that aims to divert young offenders. Judge Kelly told the youth he had received leniency in a very serious matter, and there had been a “blip” a couple of months ago, but he still had some work to do. Judge Kelly adjourned the case until a date in October. The teen had been warned breaking the probation terms could result in a “much more unpleasant” alternative. The terrifying incident occurred at the man’s Dublin 4 home over three days, from February 28th to March 1st, 2020. The boy, aged 15 at the time, was arrested after his horrified mother went through his phone. She found video clips her son recorded as he repeatedly attacked his victim. The man was punched and kicked to his head and body 13 times, resulting in a bleed on his brain. It left him too anxious to return to his home. Befriended Det Sgt Derek McGrath told Judge Kelly that officers had been looking for two youths reported missing in the early hours of March 1st, 2020. Over 12 months, they befriended the man, described as being trustworthy and vulnerable due to a brain injury he suffered as a child. A garda patrol spotted the victim out walking and asked him about the boys, but he denied knowing about them and insisted he had to go to a local ATM. Gardaí noticed dried blood on his face and questioned him. He then told them that three youths were in his house and had refused to leave. One absconded when gardaí got there. Two boys, including the accused, were taken to their homes. Subsequently, the defendant’s mother went through her son’s phone and found video clips. His family was horrified by the content and brought the phone to gardaí. The videos were played in court. The first showed a co-defendant demanding money from the man. The accused talked to the victim and subjected him to punches and kicks as he sat on his chair or knocked on the floor. In footage described by the judge as “stomach-churning”, the man begged, “please, don’t hit me”. A co-defendant pleaded with the boy to stop, telling him “that’s enough”, but the youth told his accomplice to “shut up” and called “faggot”. The co-defendant told him: “You are going to kill him, his eyes are bleeding. You are a killer”. The victim begged “please” before being kicked again. The boy continued to attack the man, who sustained a flurry of kicks to the face as he attempted to stand up. The incidents began on a Friday night and went to the early hours of Sunday. On the first night, the boys got €50 from the victim. After that, they had a pizza delivered, then went out to buy cannabis and returned. Residential treatment Det Sgt McGrath said the victim recovered from his physical injuries. He also agreed with defence solicitor Brian Keenan that when questioned, the boy accepted he had been taking his anger out on the victim. Mr Keenan asked the judge to note that the boy had been previously diagnosed with anxiety and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He had not been taking the medication at the time of the offences. He had also been in the throes of significant cannabis addiction. Those two factors played a substantial role, the defence submitted. Video news Live: Leaving Cert students pleased with English p… Read More At one stage, the boy had been put into a residential treatment centre for his cannabis problem. The judge heard he was ashamed and apologetic. Psychiatric reports were furnished to the court, and his mother told the court her son had attended a mental health service but slipped into depression. He cannot be identified because he is a minor. His co-defendant’s case is awaiting finalisation.

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