Limerick man assaulted boy, 14, after he 'threw an orange' at his home

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

The assault, Limerick District Court heard, happened a short time after the injured party and a number of other youths had thrown orange peel at the front of Mr O’Donnell’s home.

The assault, Limerick District Court heard, happened a short time after the injured party and a number of other youths had thrown orange peel at the front of Mr O’Donnell’s home

A JUDGE has been urged not to criminalise a Limerick man who assaulted a 14-year-old boy after chasing him into a supermarket.

Frank O’Donnell, aged 55, of Herbert Grove, Castletroy has admitted injuring the victim during an incident which happened inside the Costcutter store at Springfield, Castletroy at around 8pm on February 2, 2015.

The assault, Limerick District Court heard, happened a short time after the injured party and a number of other youths had thrown orange peel at the front of Mr O’Donnell’s home.

Inspector Dermot O’Connor said the defendant, who was armed with a baton, chased the youths from his home and that he followed the 14-year-old into the Costcutter store where he “poked him” in the chest. The boy, he said, sustained a minor injury to his lip when he was struck by Mr O’Donnell who had earlier threatened to “f****** kill” the teenager.

Solicitor Sarah Ryan said her client, who had never come to the attention of gardai prior to the incident, accepts he should not have reacted the way he did on the night. She said there had been a number of incidents of antisocial behaviour near his home in the weeks prior to the assault and that his home had been broken into a short time earlier.

“There had been a long line of small little things and it was very upsetting. He overreacted,” she said urging the court to view what happened in the context of the previous incidents.

Ms Ryan said there have been no incidents since and that her client is anxious to maintain his “clean record”.

Judge Marian O’Leary said it was a “very frightening experience” for the young boy and that her gut instinct was to apply the Probation Act if €500 is paid to the court poor box.

However, noting submissions from Ms Ryan, who said details of any Probation Order would appear on the garda Pulse system, the judge indicated she will not make a final decision regarding penalty until January.