A 15-year-old Dublin boy is stand trial accused of inflicting a “life threatening” slash wound to a barman's face during a knife attack in Temple Bar.
The boy has been charged at the Dublin Children's Court with assault causing harm to the man, who is in his early 20s, as well as violent disorder and possessing a knife as a weapon.
Another 15-year-old boy, who allegedly prevented the victim's best pal from stopping the attack, was also before the court charged with violent disorder.
The attack is alleged to have taken place at Fownes Street, at about 3.55 am, on September 22 last, leaving the young man disfigured.
Judge John O'Connor ruled that the case was “far too serious” to be dealt with in the Children's Court.
He was furnished with medical reports and a photograph of the barman's injuries. The picture showed a gash from his just underneath the man's right eye down to his jawbone. The injury was described by investigating Garda Shane Behan as life-threatening and life-changing.
In an outline of allegations, Gda Behan said the victim, a barman, had been walking with his friend on Fownes Street when he became involved in a verbal altercation with four people.
He was struck on his head with a plastic bottle and another member of the group punched him in the face, the court heard.
Gda Behan said that it was a horrific attack in which the young man suffered “life-threatening injuries” when he was allegedly “slashed in the face” by one of the boys who was before the court today.
The victim’s friend tried to intervene but was held back by the then 14-year-old co-defendant. Gda Behan said the two defendants as well as other accomplices, “all played a part in the assault”.
“The injured party's friend made a statement and explained that when the vicious attack took place he tried to come to the aid of his friend, but he was blocked, pushed away, held back,” Gda Behan said.
Defence lawyers asked the judge to accept jurisdiction. David Stafford, solicitor for the alleged knife attacker, asked the judge to note that his client's family had problems but they were making progress.
Sending the case to the Circuit Court would mean the teen could face more severe penalties and more serious consequences for the boy's future, he said.
In court, that teen's mother interjected to ask, “Was his fingerprints found on the knife?”. “He was not the only fellah there,” she added, before her son told her to be quiet.
Barrister Damian McKeone asked the court to note that it was not alleged that the man had been attacked by his client, the second defendant, who was accompanied to court by his father.
The DPP had recommended that the higher court was the right trial venue for the two boys and Judge O'Connor was in agreement despite their ages. He refused jurisdiction saying the incident was “certainly a life threatening situation.”
The pair were ordered to appear again in September when they are expected to be served with books of evidence and returned for trial. The boys, who have not yet entered pleas, remain on bail while the State prepare the case.