A FOURTEEN year old boy was punched in the head after he encountered the brother of a girl he had abused on social media.
Details of the assault were revealed at Limerick Court during the case of a young man who was prosecuted for assaulting the boy just over a year ago.
The 20-year-old, who is from the Caherdavin area of the city, admitted striking the boy at Old Cratloe Road on June 5, 2013.
Sergeant Donal Cronin said in the days before the assault, the victim had posted derogatory comments on Facebook about the defendant’s younger sister. “The comments were sexual and nasty in nature,” he said.
The court was told when the pair encountered each other by chance at around 3pm on the date of the offence, the 14-year-old shouted at the accused man repeating the comments he had posted on Facebook.
The pair then grappled and the 14-year-old sustained a slight bump on his forehead as a result of being punched by the defendant.
Sgt Cronin said there seemed to have been a “certain amount of immaturity” in the background given the ages of the two parties.
Solicitor Adrian Greaney, representing the defendant, said his client - who is studying at Limerick Senior College - “shook hands” with the boy following the incident and that he believed that was the end of it.
However, the court was told the boy made a statement of complaint to gardai “within minutes” and that the defendant made full admissions telling gardai he “punched him into the face with my fist”.
Noting that the injured party was not in court and had not made a victim impact statement, Judge Eugene O’Kelly dismissed the assault charge.
In doing so, he said the defendant had “stood up for the honour of his sister who had been insulted to his face”.
The judge added the 14-year-old seemed to believe he “could use Facebook with impunity” and he warned that those who use social media should realise that they cannot say what the want.
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