Teen admits sexually assaulting schoolgirl as she was harassed by group

Girl was on her way home when surrounded by a number of boys in 2016 incident

A Dublin youth is awaiting sentence after he admitted sexually assaulting a schoolgirl. File photograph: Getty Images

A Dublin youth is awaiting sentence after he admitted sexually assaulting a schoolgirl. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A Dublin youth is awaiting sentence after he admitted sexually assaulting a schoolgirl after she was surrounded by a group of boys on a footpath and prevented from getting away.

The girl, who is in her teens, had been on her way home from school when the incident happened in north Co Dublin on a date in 2016.

The now 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to the offence and was remanded on bail on Wednesday pending sentence.

Judge John O’Connor asked the Probation Service to draft a pre-sentence report on the teenager, who has to attend a sexual offending treatment programme for adolescents.

In an account of the evidence against the boy, then aged 15, Garda John Delaney said a then 16-year-old girl “was walking home from school at about 4pm when she was stopped by a group of youths of which the accused is alleged to have been one”.

“She was not allowed to continue on her journey and the accused grabbed the injured party’s breast before leaving the scene,” Mr Delaney said.

He said the girl was “extremely scared, there was no one else in the vicinity, there was no one outside this group that could see what was happening”.

A backpack was also swung at her and the group called her names and abused her before they began to walk away in another direction.

The girl then ran home and explained what happened to her mother, who called the local Garda station, Mr Delaney said. From their enquiries the youth was identified as one of the culprits.

He had no prior criminal convictions.

Victim impact

A victim impact statement prepared by the girl was handed in to court.

Defence counsel Alison Fynes asked the court to note the boy had asked her to “apologise most sincerely on his behalf” and she said he was taking full responsibility for his actions.

The barrister said the incident took place two years ago and she asked the judge to note the boy’s young age at the time.

She asked the judge to take into account that the boy made admissions when gardaí interviewed him.

He now used his time more positively and had plans to go on to third-level education, the barrister said.

The incident happened at a time when he was associating with a particular group of people and was not spending his time in a useful fashion, she said.

The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, took part in sports and has been involved in a youth club in his community, the court heard in pleas for leniency.