A teenaged gang surrounded an Indian student who was repeatedly kicked and punched during a “pile in” attack and beaten over the head with steel vice grips on the Luas in Dublin, a court heard.
Three boys, one aged 15 and two 17-year-olds, appeared before Judge Paul Kelly at the Dublin Children’s Court for a preliminary hearing to decide their trial venue.
They have been charged with assault causing harm to the man (20), on the Red Line on December 5th, 2022.
The Director of Public Prosecutions urged the judge to refuse jurisdiction in all cases and send them forward to the Circuit Court, which has broader sentencing powers.
Outlining the allegations, Garda Jason Curran said that the incident happened around 9pm when the student was heading home after college.
Five youths boarded and could be seen having a discussion, which the garda believed was them planning to attack the student who was sitting alone.
The teens, accompanied to court by family members, had covered their faces with snoods and hoods before they surrounded and carried out an unprovoked attack on the man.
Garda Curran played the CCTV evidence.
The footage showed the teens raining more than 20 punches and kicks on the man. Judge Kelly noted one of the boys used railings in the tram to get into a better position to kick the man.
The oldest defendant, who had the vice grips, joined in and could be seen bringing it down forcibly on the victim’s head four times. Garda Curran told Judge Kelly that the use of the tool “brings the assault to a different level”.
A girl with the group tried to stop them but failed, and it ended when another passenger intervened. The student, who did not have to attend the hearing, suffered a broken front tooth, cut lip, bruised face and cut hands. Garda Curran added that the victim was lucky it was not worse.
Defence counsel Doireann McDonagh asked the judge to accept jurisdiction, and said the boys would plead guilty. The Children’s Court can consider a juvenile’s level of maturity and other relevant factors in a jurisdiction hearing.
Judge Kelly described the incident as shocking and vicious.
The trio, who cannot be named because they are minors, will appear again in court in January.