Limerick teen had to face the boy he assaulted and listen to his pain

Judge Patricia Harney

A TEENAGER who had to face the boy he attacked and hear how the assault affected him was “very lucky” to have the strong support of his parents and the probation service, a Judge said.

The boy before Judge Patricia Harney was 16 at the time he joined in the attack on a teenager in the grounds of Murroe GAA club, leaving the victim with facial injuries.

He and another 16 year old were charged with assault contrary to Section 3 of the Offences Against the Person Act. Neither teen can be named as they are both juveniles.

The second youth charged in connection with the assault is due before the courts in September.

The case had been previously adjourned to allow for the victim and the accused, who was before the court this week, to engage in the Restorative Justice Programme, in which the victim can tell the attacker how the incident has affected his life.

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Having read the probation service report on the accused youth and his engagement with the Restorative Justice process, Judge Harney described the attack as “disgraceful carry on”.

But she said that she noted that the youth before the court was “not the instigator of the assault”, and she referred to “a big problem” existing in society with young people being dragged into lawlessness.

Judge Harney said that a Section 3 assault “is on the graver end’ of the criminal assault spectrum “but he did what I asked him to do and engaged with the process and the probation service”.

“He made an early guilty plea and he has no previous convictions. He is also very lucky to have the support of both his parents, who are in court with him. That is not always the case with young people who come before the court.”

Given the teenager’s co-operation and his expression of remorse, along with the plea and previous good record, Judge Harney said she would strike the matter out and not give young boy a criminal conviction.