Gardaí were set upon by up to 20 youths while trying to find teenager

A teenager is facing sentence for assault and violent disorder during an incident where a garda was knocked unconscious while trying to find a troubled boy.

Dublin Children’s Court heard gardaí feared for their own safety after they found the missing boy, aged 13, at a house party but were set on by 15 to 20 youths.

Garda David Egan was repeatedly punched and dragged away by youths, while his colleague Gda Paula Carter was knocked unconscious and kicked on the ground.

The now 15-year-old boy had denied violent disorder and assaulting Garda Egan in connection with the incident in north Dublin in February last year.

However, he was found guilty following a trial before Judge John O’Connor.

The repeat teen offender, who has five prior criminal convictions, had sentencing adjourned for a probation report to be prepared.

Garda Egan said a 13-year-old boy was reported missing by his mother who feared he was going to self-harm and had recently been hospitalised for a suspected drug overdose.

He was located at a house where there were 15 to 20 other young people. He told Judge O’Connor he and his colleague attempted to speak to the boy but “we were set on by the group”. Gda Carter was grabbed by her shoulders and abuse was shouted at them.

Gda Egan said as he tried to get the missing boy to their patrol car, one youth began “pulling out of me and flung Gda Carter to the ground and kicked her on the ground.”

Gda Egan said he tried to hold that youth but the defendant and two or three other males “were dragging out of me”.

He said he received punches to the back of his head and the then 14-year-old defendant punched him to the side of his head leaving him slightly dazed. He feared for his safety and that of his colleague.

In cross-examination with defence solicitor Mairead White, he explained that when the group of youths were hitting him, “I was getting pulled up the road”.

Ms White said her client did not have the best recollection and thought he was trying to help his friend and when told to go he left. Gda Egan disagreed and said he was certain he was assaulted by the boy.

Gda Carter described being pulled by her shoulders while Gda Egan was engaged with two or three other youths. A youth “threw me to the ground and I lost consciousness” she said, adding she feared for her safety during the violent incident. She was taken to hospital and received a stitch to a gash to back of her head.

The court heard the teenager is in an educational course but has prior convictions for robbery, production of weapon during a fight, criminal damage, and theft, and had previously been placed on probation and received a suspended sentence.

The judge warned the teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, that he is at a high risk of getting a custodial sentence.


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