Judge unable to secure justice for attack victim

Judge Hughes has told the mother of a boy who was the subject of a violent unprovoked attack that he has no way of getting justice for her.

He told the woman that ordinarily he tries to “hit people in the pocket” to make them pay for their offences, and that money would help her son with college fees but that in the case of the young man who beat her son, there was simply no money available.

He said the defendant’s mother was hard-up and the defendant himself was taking no responsibility for his actions.

The victim’s parents said that for them the case was not about money, and Judge Hughes said he accepted and respected that, but added that to do justice to their case, “I believe the simplest way is to give money to your son, who is left with an injury for the rest of his life”.

The court heard the victim, who did not raise his hand during the assault, still has panic attacks, and is dealing with his anxiety.

He has lost a year in college and his parents have had to pay fees for that year.

His broken nose will have to be broken again and straightened, because the initial operation was simply to improve his breathing, which is not as good as it was before the assault.

The boy was approached in a public place by the assailant who asked him his name and where he was from.

The victim said he did not know his attacker, whose behaviour “kicked off” when he named the town he comes from.

The victim was head-butted, punched a number of times and kicked on the ground.

A bone in his nose was chipped and his eye swelled up. A consultant’s letter showed his breathing is good on one side of his nose.

Solicitor Louis Kiernan, who represented the teenage attacker, said his client apologised at the Garda station.

He accepted the assault was unprovoked and should not have happened.

The young man had been in care, he said, but added that the boy’s mother could probably get up to €300 in compensation.

The attacker is serving a sentence for other offences.

The case was adjourned to May for a probation report which the court is obliged to get, but Judge Hughes said he will be considering detention.

He described the attacker as a man of straw, who is taking no responsibility and said “It’s not looking good for him”.

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