Naas District Court
The case against a teenager accused of assaulting a friend was adjourned at Naas District Court last Thursday, February 8.
The youth, who was 17 at the time, was prosecuted for assault causing harm at the Patrician secondary school in Newbridge on November 2, 2015.
He was also prosecuted for a breach of the public order act in a separate unrelated incident on Main Street, Newbridge, on May 28, 2016.
Inspector Henry said a verbal altercation took place in school following a comment made by the injured party.
The defendant punched the injured party once, causing a significant eye injury which required surgery. The defendant has no previous convictions.
Inspector Henry said the public order offence occurred at 3.15am when a fight took place. The defendant was abusive and had to be restrained and threatened that he was trained in mixed martial arts (MMA).
The defendant told the court that his friend had been knocked out on the ground.
Defending barrister Sarah Connolly said the defendant was not trained in MMA.
She said the defendant was immature at the time and she said neither incident was an attractive event. She added neither event paints the defendant as the man he really is.
Ms. Connolly said the defendant had received news about a friend who had cancer and he was not in a good headspace. She said he deeply regrets the incident and the injured party was a former best friend. She said the defendant was expelled from school and was a promising hurler who was removed from his team.
She also said he completed his education and is now working. She added he also plays soccer with the Hotspurs, who are aware of the incident. She also said she had references from the defendant.
“These were two young boys and altercation took place,” she said, adding the injured party has had a full recovery and has a career.
The defendant's family is supportive and his parents, who were brought in to the school, are stressed and anxious and they have reprimanded him.
The said the public order incident arose form a general melee and he knows the gardai have more things to do than than deal with “young lads who are full to be brim with alcohol.”
Judge Desmond Zaidan said the defendant acted in on the spur of the moment but the injured party sustained damage to an eye socket and a retina.
He was treated in the Eye and Ear Hospital and there was concern that he would lose the sight in his right eye.
Judge Zaidan noted it was a difficult time for the injured party because because it was not certain that surgery would be fully successful. Following surgery there was a six week wait but he has made a full recovery.
“It shows what a single punch can do,” said Judge Zaidan adding the victim did not want he defendant to get a custodial sentence.
He adjourned the case until May for the payment of €3,000 as a gesture and indicated that if this is done he will impose a fine of €1,000.