Two teenagers found guilty of Howth Junction incident where girl kicked under Dart
Two Dublin youngsters have been found guilty of an ‘intimidating’ violent disorder incident which saw a teenage girl being knocked head-first under a Dart train.
CTV footage has emerged of a 17-year-old girl at Howth Junction station falling between the platform and a stationary train on April 1 last year. She was helped by her friends and staff.
Investigating Gardai obtained directives from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and charged three 17-year-olds with violent disorder. One had an additional charge of assault causing harm to the girl; his case was severed and returned to the Circuit Court for trial.
Judge Paul Kelly found the other two boys had peripheral roles and he accepted jurisdiction to keep their cases in Dublin Children’s Court.
They pleaded not guilty and the case went to a full hearing.
The prosecution had video footage from the station’s CCTV system, a security guard’s body camera and evidence from a second teenage girl who interacted with the group.
The court heard that Gardai identified the couple using confidential public information.
Judge Kelly was told that security guards removed a group of around 10 young people from a train due to complaints of anti-social behaviour. However, they were still on the platform when some girls came and tried to catch the train.
One of the 17-year-old boys swung his foot at a girl from her bike, making contact with her head.
In evidence, she described him as “intimidating”, and she said, “one of them lunged at me”.
It happened shortly before a related incident in which a second teenage girl was knocked head-first off the platform under the stationary train.
An OCS security officer alerted the train driver and brought this girl back to the platform.
Defense attorney Michael Byrne sought dismissal on the grounds of a lack of evidence that they used or threatened to use violence that would cause a person to fear for their safety or the safety of others.
However, state attorney Mairead White argued there was evidence to support the charge, which established that the youths acted together and that it was a “joint enterprise.” “.
Judge Kelly found there was a clear threat of violence. Additionally, he said the footage showed sudden movements, an attempt to “body check”, several members of the group gesturing and one of the boys made physical contact with the witness as she attempted to get to the train.
He noted testimony from a security guard that the group was “intimidating people”.
Video evidence showed them hurriedly fleeing the station.
The court heard Gardai searched the homes of the two boys and recovered clothes.
Garda Kevin O’Boyle said the incident attracted media attention. As a result, “a lot of information has come to the confidential Garda information line” from people who are “reluctant to make statements”.
One of the boys interviewed by Gardai identified himself in the video evidence holding an electric bicycle. When Gardai asked him why he left after the girl fell off the platform, he replied, “I felt bad for not helping her; I was in shock.”
“In situations like this, you just walk away. You don’t get involved,” he added.
Neither of the two youths testified during the hearing. They cannot be named because they are minors.
Judge Kelly noted that they had no previous criminal convictions and he adjourned their sentencing for the preparation of probation reports. The case resumes in June.
The boys, accompanied to the hearing by family members, were ordered to abide by the conditions of their release on bail.
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