A 17-year-old who was part of a gang that stabbed a man multiple times and pushed him into the Royal Canal has been given a three-and-a-half-year sentence.
The court heard the accused claimed to be a person shown on CCTV footage helping the victim, who could not swim, get out of the water afterwards. The footage is too indistinct to identify that person or to identify which of the group had stabbed the victim.
The boy, who cannot be identified as he is a minor, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Royal Canal Bank on May 18, 2015.
He has 18 previous convictions including eight for robbery, one for false imprisonment, and is currently serving a sentence for assault causing serious harm.
Judge Melanie Greally it was an “extremely vicious and violent attack” on the man who was “propelled” into the canal.
She said that, “through the last-minute intercession” of the accused or one of his associates, the man got out of the water. His phone and wallet had been taken.
She said the accused boy seemed to have “an enormous capacity for violent acts” which needed to be addressed if he was to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison. She said the court’s primary concern in sentencing a child was rehabilitation.
Garda Peter Hughes told Fiona Murphy, prosecuting, that the victim was walking home along the canal from a night socialising when he was stopped by some “guys” who asked for his phone and wallet. One of them put their hands in his pocket and he told them to stop.
The man then got a punch in the face. He said he did not remember much but was attacked by at least two men and pushed into the canal. He could not swim and said he could feel himself drowning but managed to get out and walked home, where his partner called an ambulance.
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