Two youths guilty of violent disorder over Howth Junction station incident

Third accused sent for Circuit Court trial on assault charge after girl knocked off platform

Two Dublin youths have been found guilty over a “daunting” violent disorder incident which resulted in a girl being knocked under a stationary train.

Security footage showed the girl (17) falling between a platform and train on April 1st, 2021 at Howth Junction Dart station. She was helped uto safety by her friends and security staff.

Three 17-year-old males were charged with violent disorder over the incident. One of them faced an additional charge for assault causing harm and his case was separated and sent forward to the Circuit Court.

Judge Paul Kelly said the two others had peripheral roles as he accepted jurisdiction for their cases to remain before Dublin Children’s Court. The two accused pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution’s evidence included footage from the station’s CCTV system and a security guard’s body camera and testimony from a second girl who interacted with the group. The court heard gardaí identified the pair with the help of information from the public.

Judge Kelly was told that security guards had put a group of about 10 youths off a train due to anti-social behaviour complaints. However, they were still on the platform as some girls came to try to board.

One of the boys swung his foot at a girl from his bike, making contact with her head. In evidence, she said the incident was “daunting” and that “one of them lunged at me”.

That happened shortly before the second girl was knocked from the platform under the train.

Defence solicitor Michael Byrne sought a dismissal on the grounds of a lack of evidence that the accused used or threatened to use violence which would cause a person to fear for their or others’ safety. However, State solicitor Mairead White submitted that there was evidence which established that the youths had acted together.

Judge Kelly held that there was a clear threat of violence. He said the footage showed lunging, an attempt to “body-check”, several of the group making gestures and one of the boys making physical contact with the witness as she tried to get to the train.

He noted that the two accused had no prior convictions and adjourned sentencing to June to allow for the preparation of probation reports.