Teenager who set fire to girl's hair is jailed for six years

Teenager who set fire to girl's hair is jailed for six years

A Dublin teenager who repeatedly slammed a door into a girl's head and set fire to her hair has been jailed for six years.

A witness told gardaí that Dylan Lynch (18) told him to take a video of the door banging the teenage girl's head and share it with friends on Snapchat.

The witness said he did this using Lynch's own phone. He said the girl, who had been drinking vodka with a group in Lynch's bedroom, had looked “drowsy” when she was put sitting up.

He said that Lynch took a deodorant can and lighter and created a flame at the back of the girl's head. Lynch then started cutting clumps out of the girl's singed hair and throwing them out the window.

Judge Melanie Greally imposed a three-year sentence for what she described as the “sadistic” and “degrading” assault in July 2018. This is to run consecutive to a four and a half year term for robbery and assault with a vodka bottle committed three months earlier.

Lynch was on bail these offences when he attacked the girl. As a result, the sentences must run consecutively. Judge Greally suspended the last 18 months on condition that he engage with the Probation Service for 18 months.

She said she was taking into consideration his youth, the trauma of his childhood, his remorse and his own drug addiction issues.

Lynch, of Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the teenage girl at his home on July 21, 2018.

Garda Sarah Hogan told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that girls who had been with the girl eventually took her out of the house. The girl and her mother complained to gardaí the following day.

In her victim impact statement, the victim told the court that the video of her passed out was circulated and she no longer trusted anyone who was there on the night. She said she had had trouble stepping out of her home since.

Sarah Jane O'Callaghan BL, defending, said that Lynch was previously friends with the victim and was now hanging his head in shame over his actions. She said he was ashamed of the trauma he had caused her and the victim of the earlier robbery.

Garda Gary Duffy agreed with counsel that her client had a very dysfunctional background. He accepted that Lynch would have witnessed garda raids on his home as his mother had been dealing drugs and that he saw his father die from heroin abuse.

He accepted a psychological report assessment that since Lynch has been in custody he has had “a maturing of his insight” and an attitude change to crime and victims.

Judge Melanie Greally said the girl believed she became the subject of ridicule due to the circulation of the video and had suffered nightmares and sleeplessness since the attack.

She noted the sadistic quality of the assault and the degrading and humiliating nature of lighting and cutting the victim's hair.


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