Teenager spared jail after beating up and racially abusing Chinese man

Boy placed on probation for 12 months over incident which he claimed was in defence of his little brother

A youth has been spared a custodial sentence for an attack on a Dublin street where a Chinese man was beaten up in front of his daughter, racially abused and made to apologise.

The Dublin Children’s Court heard the incident escalated when the father gave out to another boy who squirted him with water in the north inner city on a date in December 2021.

The youth, 14 at the time, had denied the charge, claiming self-defence and that he was protecting his little brother, who had used a water gun before the incident, which developed into a gang attack.

However, the now 16-year-old was found guilty following a contested hearing in April.


In June, the judge was given a victim impact statement and a probation report on the teen, and a four-month deferred sentence was imposed.

The court adjourned the case until Wednesday to allow for further supervision of the boy’s progress.

He cannot be identified because he is a minor.

A positive updated pre-sentence report on the youth was furnished to the court, which placed him on supervised probation for 12 months.

At his earlier hearing, CCTV footage showed the boy repeatedly punching the victim in full view of his teenage daughter.

He admitted that he hit the victim up to seven times before the others joined in, dragged the man along railings, and rained blows and kicks to his head and body.

Garda Ciara Burke had told the court that the man had a swollen eye, bloody face, and blood coming from his nose when he arrived at Store Street station minutes later.

The victim said that he had spoken to a young boy who sprayed him with a water gun, but the accused became racially abusive and hit him before “a whole load of youths became involved”.

Afterwards, they followed him and “made him apologise”, or they would not leave him alone.

Gda Burke obtained CCTV footage and arrested the boy after overhearing him three days later talking about the incident.

The teen told her, “I just swung until he backed off,” the court heard.

In evidence, the victim recalled telling the defendant’s brother, who squirted him, “Stop it”, and he put his hands out.

He was worried for his daughter and tried to walk away, but the accused started hitting him. Then, he said, “Some guys came across the road and hit me really bad. I was covered by my hat, so I did not see anything, and they kept hitting me; one guy hit me really bad.”

He recalled in court how they made him apologise afterwards, telling him, “If you don’t say sorry, we won’t let you go”.

The teenage defendant had claimed that the victim had put his hand on his little brother and started giving out, so he went to defend him.

He alleged the man came at him and kicked him, and he tried to convince the court that he was using self-defence.

He said he backed off and kept his distance when the incident escalated.

The defence argued that the boy had an “instinctive reaction” to defend his brother.

Convicting him, Judge Paul Kelly had held that the teen acted aggressively, not defensively.

He was also guilty of taking part in a mugging of another boy who had his bicycle stolen during a separate incident. The boy cannot be identified because he is a minor. He must stay out of trouble and engage with the Probation Service and other agencies to address his offending and obtain a training or education course.

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