Boy (15) tried to murder woman he met on social media
Court hears teenager slashed victim’s neck near the sea front in Dún Laoghaire
A view along the seafront at Queen’s Road, Dún Laoghaire. Image: Google Maps
A 15-year-old boy tried to murder a woman he met on social media after suggesting they take a selfie at the water’s edge in Dún Laoghaire, where he knocked her unconscious and slashed her neck.
Gardaí later found a book of drawings in his bedroom, containing a sketch of someone being cut up with a knife. The words, ‘serial killer’, had been written on another page.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was before the Central Criminal Court on Monday.
He had pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Stephanie Ng on December 23rd 2017 at the seafront, Queen’s Road, Dún Laoghaire.
The now 17-year-old was accompanied to court by his parents, who sat beside him in the court.
Detective Garda Daniel Treacy told Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, that the accused had met his victim on the Whisper social media app.
He was 15 at the time, and his victim was 25. However, he told her he was 19. They exchanged ordinary photographs to confirm they were real people.
He asked Ms Ng to participate in a threesome but she declined, and made it clear that she was not interested in any form of a sexual relationship.
He disclosed his name and certain family details and that he was attending psychiatrists for therapy, due to him having depression, suicidal and intrusive thoughts.
He told her that he could not commit to girls.
“It’s like being a psychopath. You just don’t feel it,” he wrote, saying he was ‘feeling it for the first time’.
They arranged to meet in Dún Laoghaire on December 23rd, with him saying he would bring her to a secret spot.
She jokingly said it sounded like he was going to murder her. He replied that he did not think he could murder her.
They met at the entrance to Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre shortly after noon that day and walked to York Road, where the accused asked her to go into a vacant house. She declined.
It was boarded up, so he suggested another abandoned house. She again said no.
They walked to the promenade and he suggested going into the old disused baths. She declined.
“At his request, they went down to the water’s edge to take a selfie,” Det Garda Treacy told the court.
“She was facing out to sea when he grabbed her from behind in a neck lock. He then moved in front of her and started choking her with his right hand while brandishing a knife in his left hand.”
She raised her hand to defend herself and suffered significant lacerations as a result. He told her to stop screaming in a calm and controlled voice.
She passed out due to the stranglehold. When she came around, she was lying on the ground near the water’s edge, her hand was bleeding and there was blood around her head. Her clothes had been cut.
She managed to get to her feet and take a few steps but collapsed. Walkers noticed her and came to her assistance.
Ms Ng was taken to to St Vincent’s Hospital, where she was found to have a 10cm-deep midline neck laceration, which penetrated her trachea.
She also had wounds to her right arm and thumb, consistent with defensive stab injuries. She had a fast heart rate and low blood pressure, consistent with significant blood loss. She had other symptoms that showed she probably had blood in her lungs.
She had to be put into a medically-induced coma and underwent emergency surgery.
Although she was unable to speak that day, she managed to speak with assistance the following day. She showed gardaí the communications she’d had with the accused and indicated that the person in the photos was her attacker.
Through examination of her phone, found in her handbag at the scene, gardai were able to identify the attacker as the accused. They searched his home the following day.
When they entered his bedroom, he stated: “This is about the stabbing of that girl in Dún Laoghaire. I haven’t got the knife. I threw it in the ocean.”
Gardaí seized a Leinster rugby backpack and a coat, both with suspected blood staining on them. They also seized a book of drawings, produced to the witness in court.
It contained various writings and sketches, including an entry from December 17th, showing someone being cut up with a knife. There was also a written entry on a date in November 2017, where there was reference to a therapist, along with the words, ‘serial killer might also be self deprecator might also be self praiser’.
He was arrested and taken to Dún Laoghaire Garda station, where he exercised his right to silence throughout his five interviews.
Mr Justice Michael White has adjourned the case until 12th April, when he will make formal orders in relation to psychiatric or psychological reports.