Teen who broke man’s teeth ‘to show his friends he was tough’ jailed for 18 months

by Padraig Conlon

A teenager who launched an unprovoked attack on a Mexican national that resulted in the victim losing half of both his front teeth has been jailed for 18 months.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Clayton Brennan (19) punched and kicked the man because he “wanted to show himself as a tough man in front of his friends”.

Brennan of Dunawley Grove, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Bachelors Walk, Dublin, on April 27, 2016.

Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin said this was a serious and “completely unprovoked attack”. She said Brennan kicked the victim after knocking him to the ground.

She noted that he has attended eduction while in custody and applied himself well. She suspended the last six months of a two year prison term on condition he refrain from any mind altering substance and obeys the instructions of the Probation Service.

Garda Eric Keogh told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that Jose Mondragon was sitting on the Liffey boardwalk when Brennan sat beside him.

Mr Mondragon tried to leave but a number of youths surrounded him. Brennan hit Mr Mondragon in the temple causing him to fall to the ground and strike his mouth against a tree pot.

Brennan pushed him to the ground repeatedly as he tried to stand back up. Mr Mondragon escaped by jumping over a wall once Brennan stopped pushing him.

Speaking in court, Mr Mondragon said that he had come to Ireland to learn English. Half of his two front teeth were lost in the assault and the total price to repair them is €4,205.

As Mr Mondragon walked past the accused after giving his statement to the court, Brennan extended his hand to him and Mr Mondragon shook it.

Brennan, who was 16 years old at the time of the offence, has eight previous convictions. These include an offence of assault causing serious harm at Dame Lane, Dublin, in May of 2016 in which he “glassed an individual”.

He is currently serving a five year sentence with the final two years suspended for violent disorder, arson and criminal damage. These relate to an incident on August 29, 2016 in which a unit at Oberstown Children Detention Campus was set alight and had to be demolished.

Brennan is set to be released from custody on January 30, 2020 and will remain under supervision of The Probation Service for a further 18 months.

Kevin White BL, defending, said that his client had been the victim of significant bullying throughout his schooling, including incidents in which his shoes were stolen and he was pushed into a bonfire.

Mr White said his client showed guilt and remorse for committing this offence.

He extended an apology on Brennan’s behalf to Mr Mondragon and told the court Brennan had “wanted to show himself as a tough man in front of his friends”.

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