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01st Jun 2022

Boy avoids jail time after violent incident in which girl fell under DART

He has been released on probation.

A 17-year-old boy has avoided a prison sentence for his involvement in an incident which saw a young girl fall head-first under a DART train.

The teenager accepted his presence was intimidating and was released on six months of supervised probation on Tuesday.

On 1 April last year, CCTV footage emerged of a girl at Howth Junction station in Dublin falling between the platform and a stationary train. The video gained widespread public attention.

Security guards had removed a group of about ten youths off a train due to anti-social behaviour that day. However, they were still on the platform as a group of girls came and tried to catch the train.

Footage showed the girls running onto the platform. One boy swung his foot at one girl, making contact with her head.

Another boy appeared to use the handlebars of his bike to lunge at one of the girls, causing her to fall.

The girl was thankfully pulled free from the tracks by a security guard and passer-bys before the train began moving.

She had several injuries and was visibly shocked and distressed by what had happened.

Gardaí said the girl had found it difficult to go to school since the incident and would spend “most of her day in the toilet crying”.

Under directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), investigating gardaí charged three of the boys, aged 17, with violent disorder.

One of them was given an additional charge for assault for causing harm to the girl knocked off the platform.

His case has been separated and sent forward to the Circuit Court for trial.

At a hearing last month, the two other boys were found guilty of violent disorder.

One of the boys interviewed by Gardaí identified himself in the video evidence holding an electric bike. When Gardaí asked him why he left after the girl fell off the platform, he replied: “I felt bad I didn’t help her; I was in shock.”

“In situations like that, you just walk away. You don’t get involved,” he added.

On Tuesday, Probation Service furnished a pre-sentence report on that boy to the court. As stated, he has been released on six months of supervised probation.

However, if he fails to co-operate, gardaí could re-enter the case and he could face a harsher sanction.