Teen cleared in Ballymun garda assault case

A teenager who claimed he spent the night "watching movies and smoking cannabis" has been cleared by a jury of involvement in a melee in Ballymun which resulted in two gardaí being removed to hospital.

A teenager who claimed he spent the night "watching movies and smoking cannabis" has been cleared by a jury of involvement in a melee in Ballymun which resulted in two gardaí being removed to hospital.

Seán McMullen (aged 19), of Coultry Gardens, Ballymun was found not guilty by the jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court following just 60 minutes deliberation.

It was day-two of the trial in which he had denied violent disorder, assaulting Garda Ian Coyne and resisting or wilfully obstructing him in the execution of his duty on June 1, 2006 on Coultry Road.

Earlier, the jury heard a man who has pleaded guilty to his role in the incident tell defence counsel, Ms Grainne O'Neill BL, that "my friend, Sean McMullen" wasn't involved and had not been around the area "for months". He said he told this to gardai when interviewed.

Mr McMullen told Ms O'Neill that he was in her home with his girlfriend, Ms Emma Flynn and another friend at the time and they spent the night "watching movies and smoking cannabis"

His evidence was supported by Ms Flynn and by his mother, Mr Bridget McMullen, who said her son told her he was in his girlfriend's house when she telephoned him to say there had been "bad trouble in Coultry" and to remain where he was.

Garda David McCarthy had described at the start of the trial what he called a "frenzied attack" by a large group of youths on himself and Garda Coyne which he said was "like predators running on prey".

He said the side of his face was split open by one of many bottles rained down on him and Gda Coyne and said both of them had to treated in hospital afterwards for their injuries.

Gda McCarthy said so many bottles were raining down on them at one stage in the "melee"that even a man he was arresting had to shield his own head from them.

Judge Frank O'Donnell thanked the remaining 11 member of the jury for their attention to the case and discharged Mr McMullen. Judge O'Donnell had earlier discharged a juror in the case who had been observed "having difficulties concentrating".

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