Actor permanently scarred after attack by drug dealer (16)

Andrew Cusack (21) cut in face by teenager after asking for refund over fake ecstasy

Judge John O’Connor ruled the attack was too serious for the juvenile court and should go to the Circuit Court. File photograph: Collins Courts.

A young actor was left permanently scarred after being cut in the face by a teenager in Dublin city centre during a row about drugs, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old defendant had been dealing drugs prior to the attack and his temper “flared up” when asked for a refund for selling fake ecstasy tablets, the Dublin Children’s Court was told.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is minor, said "I'm very sorry for what I've done" after he was charged with causing serious harm to Andrew Cusack (21) in the early hours of May 2nd at Dame Lane in Dublin.

The 16-year-old faced a preliminary hearing at the Dublin Children’s Court to decide if his case should be dealt with there or instead sent forward to the Circuit Court which can impose lengthier sentences. Judge John O’Connor ruled that it was too serious for the juvenile court and should go to the higher court.


The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, was remanded in custody pending the preparation of the book of evidence.

In an outline of the allegations Garda Keith Connors told the judge he had been on duty in the area when he heard "a loud scream of a male I believed to be in agony". He found Mr Cusack with severe injuries and on his knees screaming. He noticed "a large pool of blood on the footpath" and said the victim became hysterical and was in extreme pain.

Garda Connors spoke to a friend of Mr Cusack who had been present during the incident. He learned that Mr Cusack had purchased what he believed to be ecstasy tablets from the defendant earlier however he discovered the drugs were not real.

About 40 minutes later Mr Cusack and his friend ran into the teenager again at Dame Lane by “pure chance” and “looked for a refund”. There was a row and the boy picked up a glass from a window ledge and “the glass was thrust directly into Mr Cusack’s face”.

CCTV footage was played in court showing the victim and his friend remonstrating with the defendant and his group. The video shows Mr Cusack being struck.

Four scars

Medical reports said Mr Cusack had four scars from his lower left lip across on to his cheek, 4cm-6cm in length. The judge heard it is likely the young man will be permanently scarred and that could affect his acting career. His lower left lip is permanently numb and may have been weakened. He will also require surgery and treatment for many years which is likely to cost several thousand euro. Garda Connors said the man wanted to be an actor but “this horrific injury may scupper his chances”.

The teenager was arrested at his home in west Dublin. He made admissions during an interview when he was shown the video evidence and he became extremely remorseful, said the garda.

Defence solicitor David Stafford pleaded with the court to accept jurisdiction and told the judge the boy would plead guilty and is incredibly apologetic. He said the teenager would say he sold the two men MDMA, an ecstasy substitute, and during the incident his temper "flared up" when the victim's friend put his hand on him.

The court heard the teenager has dropped out of school after the Junior Cert and was earlier diagnosed with having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Mr Stafford said the teenager “fell in with a bad crowd” and was abusing drugs including various tablets, cannabis and cocaine. It is suspected he has psychological and psychiatric issues, and he has self-harmed. His family life had also been disrupted by him being the victim of severe bullying, the court heard.