Judge refuses jurisdiction for teen who "nonchalantly" left girl he knocked under DART
The judge said if it wasn't for the security guard who pulled the girl to safety, it could have been a "very different scenario".
A judge has refused jurisdiction to a 16-year-old boy who knocked a girl “head first” under a DART train and “nonchalantly” left her there for others to help.
CCTV footage emerged earlier this year of a 17-year-old girl falling between a train and a platform at Howth Junction station on April 1 as a result of intimidation and assault by a group of teenage boys.
Gardaí obtained directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and charged three boys aged 16 and 17 last month.
In the footage, several teen girls can be seen running for the train when they are attacked by a large group of boys – some on bikes, others on foot. It appears as though the boys shout and kick at the girls as they try to board the stationary DART.
The 17-year-old girl can then be seen rushing to make the train along the platform when one of the boys, the 16-year-old, lunges at her using the handlebars of his bike, causing her to fall between the platform and the train.
The boys are accused of violent disorder by using or threatening to use violence, causing others to fear for their safety. The 16-year-old is also charged with assault causing harm to the girl.
A preliminary hearing was held on Tuesday at Dublin Children's Court to consider their trial venue.
Judge Paul Kelly watched the CCTV footage and Garda Kevin O'Boyle outlined the evidence to the court.
He said that on the date of the incident, 10 to 15 youths caused a disturbance on the DART by “shouting and roaring” and hassling passengers.
Security officers dealt with them and were preventing them from re-entering the train as six girls ran onto platform to catch it.
One of the 17-year-olds swung his foot at a girl from his bike, kicking her in the face.
The 16-year-old who lunged at another girl using his handlebars wound up striking her in the knee and "as a result, she fell down off the platform, head first".
He then walked away as a security officer alerted the train driver and others rushed to help.
The court heard the girl was pulled to safety, visibly distressed and in shock. She had a laceration on her knee, as well as a bad cut and bruise on her back.
The DPP directed a "trial on indictment" in the Circuit Court, which has broader sentencing powers than the Children's Court.
State solicitor Niamh McKernan urged the judge to refuse jurisdiction, arguing that the boys showed "no remorse" and failed to help the victim.
She also said that the girl's mental health had taken a "severe blow" as a result of the attack.
Counsel for the 16-year-old said he was remorseful and aware his actions were reckless and a "very stupid move".
He said he had since reflected and disassociated himself from the group of youths.
His counsel also argued that he had no previous convictions and wished to "deal with the case and put it behind him".
Judge Kelly accepted jurisdiction for the two 17-year-olds, meaning they will be expected to enter pleas in the Children's Court.
He refused jurisdiction in the 16-year-old's case as the boy had lunged at the girl with "devastating consequences".
He also noted how the boy "nonchalantly pushes his bike away" in the footage after causing the girl to fall, leaving others to help her.
“But for the actions of the security guard, we could have been facing a very different scenario today,” the judge said.
The three youths will appear in court again in January, though the 16-year-old will be sent forward for trial at the higher court.
All three have been ordered to obey strict bail conditions.