Teenager who assaulted a woman in Dublin laneway is jailed

Teenager who assaulted a woman in Dublin laneway is jailed

Fiona Ferguson

A teenager who assaulted a woman in a city centre lane way has been jailed for three years.

Xolani Mdakani, now aged 21 years old, grabbed the woman in a headlock but later ran off when someone in an apartment overlooking the lane shouted at him. He was identified on CCTV.

Mdakani, formerly of St Margaret's Road, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the woman causing her harm at Henry Place, Dublin 1 on February 9th, 2018.

He has 36 previous convictions, including three for assault, as well as theft, burglary and trespass.

Unaccompanied minor

Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, said Mdakani had come to Ireland from South Africa as an unaccompanied minor aged about 13 years old and after his efforts to reunite with his mother and siblings were “effectively rebuffed” he ended up in residential care, in hostels and on the streets.

Passing sentence today, Judge Melanie Greally said Mdakani has a significant number of previous convictions including previous for violent offending, but that the majority were committed while he was a child.

Judge Greally said the accused was still a very young man and that perhaps being repatriated and re-engaging with his family will help him to “address the difficulties in his life”.

She sentenced Mdakani to three years and nine months imprisonment, but suspended the final nine months on strict conditions.

At a previous sentencing hearing, Garda Conor Moran agreed with Mr Dwyer that Mdakani was a young man he would have seen in the city centre intoxicated or drinking on the streets while he was in the course of his duty.

Mr Dwyer said Mdakani, who has been in custody since last October, was very remorseful for what he had done.

Shopping

Gda Moran told Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL, prosecuting, that the injured party had been shopping in the city centre and had spoken to an acquaintance drinking with a group of people, including Mdakani, before walking off down Moore Street Lane.

She said Mdakani followed behind her in the direction of Henry Lane and grabbed her in a headlock. She said he threatened her and as she squirmed away, hit her with a bottle.

She said he grabbed her again and she tried to bite him and screamed.

A woman in an apartment shouted down at Mdakani and he ran off. Mdakani was identified from CCTV of the area and when shown the footage, admitted it was him.

The injured party did not wish to make a victim impact statement.

Mr Dwyer said his client wished to avail of assistance from the International Organisation for Migration in order to return to South Africa after his sentence where he hopes to live with his grandmother.

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