18 Aug 2022

Teenager who stabbed man with screwdriver for not giving him a cigarette jailed

Teenager who stabbed man with screwdriver for not giving him a cigarette jailed

A teenager who stabbed with a screwdriver a man who did not give him a cigarette has been jailed for ten months.

Dubliner Ross Crea (18) was aged 16 when he committed the “completely senseless act of violence” and upon his arrest he was “extremely intoxicated” to the point of being unable to get to his feet in a garda station.

Crea of Hardwicke Street in the city centre pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Cope Street, Dublin 2 on April 18, 2019. His previous convictions include robbery, attempted robbery and criminal damage.

Garda Stephen Wade told Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, that in the early hours of the morning on the date in question, the victim had left his place of work with a friend and was walking in the city centre when he was approached by the accused and another person.

Gda Wade said Crea asked them for a cigarette, but they said they did not smoke and tried to leave. Crea blocked them from leaving and stabbed the victim in the shoulder with a screwdriver before running away.

The victim sustained a puncture wound to his shoulder which did not require inpatient treatment at a hospital and he went back to work the next day. He has since returned to his home country.

Gda Wade said he believed Crea had lost his temper when the victim would not give him a cigarette.

The garda agreed with Jane Murphy BL, defending, that her client was “extremely intoxicated” upon his arrest and was unable to get to his feet in a garda station. He agreed the screwdriver had the diameter and the length of a pen.

Ms Murphy said her client had previously been living with his grandmother and had moved back to the city centre to live with his mother and step-father after they had come out of a period of homelessness.

Counsel said there was a lack of structure in which her client was not attending school, was staying out late at night, and was drinking alcohol and taking pills.

She said this was “a completely senseless act of violence”. She said her client has little recollection of the offence, but he accepts full responsibility for it and is remorseful.

Judge Martin Nolan said that “thankfully it was not a serious injury”. He said the accused does deserve a custodial sentence, but that it was be lessened on the basis of his youth at the time and the hope for rehabilitation.

Judge Nolan sentenced Crea to two years imprisonment, but suspended the final 14 months on strict conditions.

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