20 May 2022

Longford teen to spend his 18th birthday in prison after assault on ex fiancee

Longford teen to spend his 18th birthday in prison after assault on ex fiancee

A Longford teenager will spend his eighteenth birthday in an adult prison after being convicted of assaulting his ex fiancee.

The juvenile, who cannot be named as he won't become a legally defined adult until the middle of August, was sentenced to a total of nine months detention by Judge Seamus Hughes at last week's District Court sitting.

The court heard how the youngster set upon the girl at an address in Longford on May 7 2021 by punching her twice with a closed fist into her right eye.

Sgt Mark Mahon, prosecuting, said the incident caused the injured party to fall to the ground.

“During the course of that (incident) he (defendant) produced a knife and she had to run from the estate in fear of her life,” he said.

In defence, solicitor Bríd Mimnagh said her client was willing to plead to a lesser Section 2 assault instead of the more serious Section 3 charge which was before the court.

“He would say she (the injured party) spat at him and he says he did hit her but the relationship is off now and he is sorry,” she said.

Judge Hughes rejected Ms Mimnagh's offer after the injured party took to her feet to claim she has been the victim of ongoing threats via what she believed were fake Snap Chat accounts.

“I'm guessing it's his partner and sisters,” she said, when asked as to who might be behind the taunts.

The teenager roundly dismissed those claims, insisting he had been in Oberstown Detention Centre throughout where his phone calls in and out of the facility were being actively recorded.

Under questioning from Judge Hughes as to the extent of her injuries, the girl said she had been left with a black eye as a result of the alleged assault.

The accused, wearing a blue tracksuit, gestured continually to the bench in an attempt to speak to the court.

“I apologise,” he said.

“I didn't mean anything, it was a spur of the moment thing,” he said.

“I want to do whatever time you give me and move out of Longford.”

The court also heard details of a separate charge of burglary in which the accused allegedly entered a house in the Farnagh area of town on the same date with another man and assaulted a man in his own home.

Ms Mimnagh asked the court to consider limiting whatever sentence was handed to her client as he was fast approaching his eighteenth birthday and ran the risk of being transferred to an adult prison.

“He wants to get everything dealt with as he turns 18 in August,” she said.

“He is entitled to stay in Oberstown for six months after his eighteenth birthday and is looking to start a new life outside Longford for once and for all.”

Judge Hughes, for the second time, turned down those requests as he sentenced the accused to a total of nine months in detention.

He sentenced the teenager to six months for the burglary charge and a one month consecutive term for possession of a knife.

A further two month consecutive sentence was issued for the assault on the young woman as Judge Hughes gave some sobering advice to the youngster.

“I hope you mature,” he told him.

“Stop and think before you do something. You are impulsive and act immaturely.

“If you see a purse or some other opportunity, stop and think before you do it.

“I sincerely hope you change your life story or you will be spending long periods in the Midlands Prison for much of your adult life.”

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