A thirteen-year-old boy who carried out a violent attack on a young woman in Cork city has been found guilty by a jury of also assaulting her sexually.
The victim was so badly beaten that on the night of the attack she was at first unable to unlock her phone to ring her parents because the facial recognition software on her phone did not recognise her.
He had repeatedly kicked her face and dragged her along the ground by her hair when she lay face down on the footpath.
A woman driving by saw that the young woman’s long dress was above her waist and her panties were down.
The teenager pleaded guilty to assault causing harm but denied sexual assault. Now at Cork Circuit Criminal Court a jury of three women and nine men have unanimously found him guilty of the sexual assault also.
Paula McCarthy barrister said the state was applying to have the teenager – now aged 15 – remanded in custody for sentencing in four weeks’ time. Siobhán Lankford defence senior counsel said the teenager was not in any trouble before or after this incident. Judge Catherine Staines remanded the youth on bail.
A victim impact statement is to be prepared by the woman in her early 20s who was a college student at the time she was walking home – a route with which she was very familiar - at around 11pm following a night out with friends. A probation report is to be prepared on the teenager.
The victim testified during the trial, “I tried to ring my parents but I have facial identification on my phone and the phone wouldn’t open up because I looked so horrendous and when I saw my face on the camera phone later, I just freaked out.”
The attack happened on Evergreen Street in Cork on January 29 2022. The injured party thought she heard somebody following her and was suddenly knocked to the ground.
“The next thing I remember is being kicked in the face. My face was on the road. I had earrings on, and I could feel them sticking into me.
A witness driving up Evergreen Street to go on to Douglas Street saw the injured party’s dress raised and underwear down.
“I asked the fellow what was happening, and he said, ‘It’s okay, I have her’ – I asked her did she know him, and she said ‘No,’ and then she said, ‘Help me’ – she was sobbing uncontrollably, and she said he was following her.
“The gentleman said that ‘Three fellows had kicked the shite out of her and that he had just come upon her’, and then he dropped her down on her bum and he said he was going to go after the three fellows who kicked the shite out of her, and he ran off.”
The witness placed the girl in her car and she started wiping the blood off her face which was swelling up badly. The passing motorist rang the girl’s mother.
The 15-year-old will be sentenced on May 19 for assault causing harm – to which he pleaded guilty – and sexual assault – on which he was found guilty by the jury.