Teen claims Garda attacked him in custody

A judge has deferred a verdict in the trial of a teenager pending a probe into claims he was attacked in Garda custody.

A judge has deferred a verdict in the trial of a teenager pending a probe into claims he was attacked in Garda custody.

The boy (aged 16) is accused of smearing a cell wall at Dun Laoghaire Garda station with his own blood, following his arrest on May 7 last.

He claimed he was left bleeding from a punch through a cell door hatch by a garda who arrested him earlier for being intoxicated in public.

He pleaded not guilty in a non-jury Children's Court trial to being intoxicated in public and criminal damage.

After the prosecution and defence closed their cases, Judge Ann Ryan heard that the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) are to investigate his claims. She adjourned giving her verdict pending the GSOC inquiry.

The boy, who was accompanied to his case by his mother, was remanded to appear again in October.

Garda Neil Doyle said he arrested the boy after finding him “stumbling around”. “He was unable to speak to me due to his intoxication and appeared to be on drugs as well as a combination of drink,” he said.

The boy was brought to Dun Laoghaire Garda station and placed in a cell for juveniles.

Gda Doyle checked the cell “that it was clean, that there was a blanket or anything that could cause himself or any of my colleagues harm”.

Later, Gda Doyle heard “shouting and banging” coming from the cell and was made aware that the boy was bleeding from his nose. A doctor attended to the boy, the court heard.

Gda Doyle told defence solicitor Gareth Noble he was aware a complaint had been made against him and said the area around the cell was not covered by CCTV cameras.

In evidence, Gda Michael Costello said he saw the teen bleeding in the cell and asked where the blood came from but the boy “refused to answer”.

Gda-Sergeant Enda Connolly also told the court that the boy was “blowing blood on to his hands and smearing it over the wall”.

He noted a complaint made by the boy's sister.

Gda-Sgt Declan Egan said the boy told him that “a garda had hit him on the nose through the door of the cell”.

In evidence, the teenager said that in the cell he had been ringing a bell to ask to use a toilet and Gda Doyle hit him “through the hatch in the door”.

In cross-examination he agreed he daubed his blood on the wall.

Mr Noble submitted that the prosecution had no evidence that the boy's injury was self-inflicted and his evidence had not been contradicted in court.

“It is accepted it is his [the accused's] blood and the submission is that it would have not occurred but for the fact that he was assaulted,” Mr Noble argued.

Gda Doyle submitted that the boy had admitted damaging the cell with his blood.

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