Teen slapped, caught around neck, and smoke blown in face by mother’s boyfriend

A teenager was slapped, caught around the neck, and had cigarette smoke blown in his face by his mother’s boyfriend after they returned from the pub.

That was the scenario described by Inspector Ronan Kennelly at Cork District Court yesterday.

Tyrone man Kevin John Devine, aged 39, who previously living at Eagle Valley, Sarsfield Rd, Cork, returned to Cork yesterday from Tyrone to plead guilty to the charge of assaulting the teenager.

Devine’s solicitor, Donal Daly, said: “This has weighed heavily on his mind since it happened in April last year.”

Insp Kennelly said the complainant and his aunt called to Togher Garda Station saying he was assaulted by his mother’s partner.

He alleged that Devine came home drunk with his mother on the night in question and that Devine blew smoke into the boy’s face and slapped him in the face.

“He then put his hands around his neck and started to choke him,” Insp Kennelly said.

“The boy’s mother only recalled some incident where her son slipped off the couch.

“Kevin Devine told gardaí he had no memory it and was extremely drunk at the time.”

A sentence of four months was imposed on the accused, suspended on condition that he would keep the peace for the next two years.

Insp Kennelly said the accused had five previous convictions but he described them as historical and that he had not come to the gardaí in recent years.

Mr Daly categorised it as a domestic incident which occurred when he returned to the woman’s house after they had been out drinking.

“He had drink on board,” said Mr Daly. “There was some tension in the house. He slapped the young fella across the face and held on to him. He apologised unreservedly.

“The young man and his aunt went to the guards. He [the accused] admitted everything and assured the gardaí it would not occur again. He travelled down from Tyrone for this case. It happened in April last year. The relationship has broken up since.

“He apologised unreservedly to the teenager, who was aged 17/18 at the time.”

Judge Kelleher said: “It is a serious matter to put his hand on the teenager like that.”

The judge said that, considering all the circumstances, the defendant would avoid a custodial sentence.


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