Northern Ireland

Teenager attacked woman 'after pocket money cut off'

court

A 14-year-old boy attacked and robbed an elderly woman after his parents cut off his pocket money, a court in Donegal has heard.

The boy, who cannot be named, admitted attacking retired nurse Anna McDaid in Letterkenny, in August 2010.

Mrs McDaid, who is in her late 60s, suffered a broken arm, a dislocated shoulder and was knocked unconscious.

Her attacker, who is now 15, was charged with assault and robbery at Milford District Court on Tuesday.

The boy, who was accompanied by his parents, now wants to meet Mrs McDaid to apologise, his solicitor said.

The court was told the boy was with a man when he shouted to her: "Give me the money" before knocking her over and stealing her handbag. The bag was found a short time later, 300 euros (£266) was missing from it.

A solicitor for the boy said he wanted to make up for the awful hurt he had caused Mrs McDaid.

He said that at the time of the attack, the teenager had been under the influence of other people and did not have the maturity to say "no" to them.

The solicitor said the boy had been causing his parents problems before the attack and they had tried to discipline him by cutting off his pocket money which proved "disastrous".

"He came to Letterkenny and had something in his mind. He had no pocket money because his parents had cut it because they were trying to control him.

"Mrs McDaid became the victim and he caused her the most serious difficulties possible. It was a purely random attack and Mrs McDaid was not targeted," he said.

Compensation

"We have an apology in court and my client would like to meet her if possible to let her know how sorry he is. That is up to her.

"All we can do now is to reassure her how sorry we are."

The solicitor produced 500 euros (£444) in court to compensate for the 300 euros plus an extra 200 euros (£177) for Mrs McDaid "as a small gesture for all she has suffered."

He said the boy was now being home-schooled and was attending a child psychologist.

The judge said he was shocked by the crime.

"This is a very nasty and mean crime to a defenceless old lady who suffered a serious injury.

"He is very lucky he is not facing much more serious charges and consequences on his conscience. However I am impressed with how you have met the matter," he said.

A probation report was ordered and the boy is to appear in court again on 13 June.