CW: Physical violence
A teenager has been jailed for attacking a gay man in Dublin. The ruling was issued on Thursday, January 12, with Judge Martin Nolan sentencing the assailant to three years imprisonment.
18-year-old Jamie Walsh and another younger teenager targetted the victim on November 18, 2021, shortly after seeing him and his partner together at the Jervis Street Luas stop. According to a prosecuting garda, the couple were hugging, laughing and kissing just after midnight when one of the boys came up to the victim and asked why he was kissing the other man on the neck, commenting “It’s so gay.”
The partner replied “What’s wrong with that?” and subsequently saw the two boys laughing at them.
When the Luas arrived, the victim got on alone, with the assailants boarding the tram ahead of him. All three parties disembarked at the Blackhorse stop and the man began to walk home towards the Naas Road junction.
One of the teenagers asked the victim for a cigarette, and while he reached into his bag to retrieve one, he saw the younger accused boy running at him, pulling him to the ground.
Both attackers then started punching and kicking the man until he was unconscious. The injured party later told Gardaí that he didn’t remember much from the assault, before waking up on the ground and checking his belongings.
Although disorientated, the victim was able to text his friend and housemate who picked him up, brought him home and applied ice to his head. The man also sent photos of his injuries to his partner, who then came to the house and accompanied him to St James’ Hospital.
The court was told that the victim had a swollen and bleeding lip, and his eye and forehead were bruised and scraped. He was treated for his injuries in hospital, and took four days off work to recover.
Walsh of Owendoher House, Ballyboden Road, Rathfarnham was arrested at his grandfather’s house almost a month after the incident. CCTV footage was used to identify him and his co-accused who at the time was 14 years old and is said to have already been dealt with by the courts.
The 18-year-old pleaded guilty to assault causing harm in front of the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, with Judge Nolan suspending the final 16 months of the sentence as a result of the attacker having been aged 17 at the time and experiencing many challenges in his early life. The judge ordered the jailed teenager to be of good behaviour for the duration of his sentence and to abide by the supervision of the Probation Services for one year on release.
Walsh has 48 previous convictions, 29 of which are for theft, six for robbery and others include assault causing harm and criminal damage.
Marc Thompson Grolimund BL of the defence team explained that most of his client’s previous offences relate to the theft of vodka, and claimed that the teenager had been drunk on the night of the assault. He added that although it appears the attack was homophobic, it was rather a result of intoxication and immaturity.
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