A teenager has been given a suspended sentence for an attack on two skateboarders who had shouted at his sister over her use of a mobile phone on a bus.
Allan Scanlon (18) and two accomplices attacked Robert Hunt and Keith Walsh after they got off the bus. One of the other men had a hammer, and Mr Hunt told gardaí he was hit on the head with the hammer.
Scanlon of Swan Grove, Ranelagh, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Mr Hunt causing him harm on May 27th, 2015, at Lower Rathmines Road in Dublin.
Judge Terence O’Sullivan suspended a six-month prison sentence on condition that Scanlon keep the peace for 12 months and attend victim awareness work with the Probation Services.
Garda Gavin Kelly told the court that Mr Hunt and Mr Walsh had been drinking before getting on a bus in Dublin city centre. They had a confrontation with a woman on the upper deck of a bus whom they felt was talking loudly on her mobile phone.
Garda Kelly said Mr Walsh, who did not wish to participate in the prosecution, admitted he was aggressive towards Scanlon’s sister on the bus and told her to “shut the f**k up” before banging the window. He apologised to gardaí for this behaviour.
The court heard the woman went downstairs. The men alleged that when they were getting off the bus the woman was taking photographs of them with her phone and told them “ye are dead”.
Both men got off the bus at Lower Rathmines Road, and went into a shop to purchase more alcohol. When they came out they were set upon by the three young men who had implements in their hands, including a hammer and a sharp plastic object.
Mr Hunt told gardaí that Scanlon shouted “you were nasty to my sister” at him. The other two youths took the victims’ skateboards before running off.
The skateboards were recovered by gardaí at the scene, and Scanlon’s blood was found on one of them. He claimed he was hit with the skateboard after he accused the men of verbally abusing his sister.
Scanlon, who has no previous convictions, claimed it was a “plastic object” he used to assault Mr Hunt and not a hammer, but “can’t remember what the plastic object was”.
Judge O’Sullivan said the attack was organised and premeditated. The young men went looking for trouble after a “perceived insult” to Scanlon’s sister.
“You’re entitled to disagree with someone using a mobile phone on a bus,” he said, but added that what happened next should not have happened.
He accepted that Scanlon had shown genuine remorse. He also noted that he had no previous convictions, and that a report from Youth Reach was very positive.