Schoolboy given 6 months detention for sex attack on 13-year-old friend

Boy refuses to attend treatment programme for youths who have committed sexual offences

The boy, accompanied to court by his mother, lodged an appeal within minutes of sentencing and was released

The boy, accompanied to court by his mother, lodged an appeal within minutes of sentencing and was released

 

A Dublin schoolboy has been given a six-month sentence for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old friend with a hairbrush handle as he held him down in a park.

Judge Brian O’Shea imposed the detention order at the Dublin Children’s Court on Monday after noting the boy, now aged 16, had steadfastly refused to attend a treatment programme for youths who have committed sexual offences.

The Probation Service found he was at low risk of re-offending. However, his family had supported him in his decision not to engage in the treatment programme.

His solicitor, Lorraine Stephens, said the case had also affected the youth. She told Judge O’Shea the boy had remorse and now accepted it was an assault but not the indecency element or a sexual assault.

Pleading for leniency, she asked the court to note he had no prior convictions, was still in school and had not been in trouble since the attack.

The boy, accompanied to court by his mother, lodged an appeal within minutes of sentencing and was released.

His co-defendant, aged 15, who has agreed to engage in the treatment programme, had sentencing adjourned.

They had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the victim in June last year when friends had a kickabout in Dublin.

The defendants were aged 14 at the time of the incident.

In August, following a five-day non-jury trial at the Children’s Court, Judge O’Shea held that they lied and were guilty. He had said they had reached the threshold for custodial sentences. However, he added that they could avoid detention if they completed a Tusla-run multidisciplinary programme for young people who have carried out sexual abuse.

He stipulated that their families also had to be involved in the process, which reduces the chance of re-offending.

The complainant had testified that as he lay on the ground facing down after playing football, the older defendant lay on top of him for a few minutes. He said someone gave a hairbrush to the boy on top of him and he alleged that boy then assaulted him with its handle for five or six seconds.

The second defendant, he alleged, came over and further assaulted him with the hairbrush.