Teenager took running kicks to men’s heads during assault at Luas terminal

By Declan Brennan

A teenager will be sentenced next October for an “appalling” assault during which he took running kicks to two men’s heads as they lay unconscious.

The attacks by Niall Brooks (18) and two others left the victims with extensive injuries, including skull fractures, broken eye sockets and broken cheek bones.

Dublin Courts-4

Brooks of The Rise, Kiltipper Gate, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm to Brendan Cahill and Derek McDonald at the Luas terminal on Belgard Square East on March 17, 2015.

Garda Fran Glennon told the court that CCTV footage from a Luas train showed a scuffle breaking out between the three attackers, then juveniles, and the victims, after an exchange of words.

This spilled out onto the Luas terminal where the two victims fell to the ground. The three youths then repeatedly kicked the men in the head and body.

The victims were not moving and may have been unconscious when Brooks took a running kick at each one and kicked them both in the head, Garda Glennon said.

Judge Brian O’Callaghan said the attack was nothing short of appalling. He put the case back to October for another Probation Services report to be produced for the court.

In victim impact statements opened to the court Mr McDonald said he has gone from being a happy and carefree person to seeing everyone as a potential threat. He needed medication to help him sleep and found it hard to get up in the morning.

He estimated an economic loss of €11,000 because of missing out on job placements and said he had a lot of bottled-up anger. 

Mr Cahill said he has not slept right one night since the assault. He had gone from an easy-going person to having zero confidence.

He suffered panic attacks and his wife had to answer his phone because of his anxiety levels. The panic also meant that he couldn’t pick up his children from school in the evening.

He estimated an economic loss of €15,700, which included lost earnings as a carpenter, and an iPhone lost during the attack.

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