Wednesday 16 October 2019

Two teenagers claimed they received a beating

TWO Castlebridge teenagers told Wexford District Court on Monday that they were beaten by Stephen Whitty Snr and Stephen Whitty Jnr in Michael J Sinnott Drive on the night of July 13, 2008.

The friends, 14 and 15 years old at the time, gave evidence of being assaulted by the father and son.

The then 14-year-old said he was sitting on the wall outside Martina O'Brien's house at around 11 p.m. when Stephen Whitty Snr – who was accused of assaulting both teenagers – and Stephen Whitty Jnr – who faced no charges – came out of their own house in Michael J Sinnott Drive shouting 'you're dead'.

He said that Stephen Jnr pulled him from the wall and Stephen Snr held him down while Stephen Jnr hit him. He also alleged that Stephen Snr hit him repeatedly too and also hit his head off a wall.

He said that the father and son then left him and pulled the 15-year-old out of the O'Brien household, also beating him. He said he was walking back towards his own house as his friend was assaulted.

He told Judge Donnchadh O Buachalla that he had a trapped nerve in his neck as a result of the attack and that he suffered cuts and bruises.

Eva Lalor, for Stephen Whitty Snr, put it to the youth that Stephen Whitty Jnr came out of the house alone. 'His dad was right behind him,' he replied.

Ms Lalor also said that it was he who jumped out in front of the younger Whitty and started a fight. 'No, I was pulled off the wall,' he said.

'You pushed him and started the row. You didn't come out the better of it and went down to your own house?' Ms Lalor asked. 'No,' he replied.

'Stephen Whitty Snr never touched you,' Ms Lalor said. 'No, he did,' he replied.

Ms Lalor asked him about his activities and those of his friends, putting it to him that they carried out anti-social behaviour at the Castlebridge estate for fun, setting fire to bins and kicking footballs at the windows of neighbours. He denied this.

She asked if he was aware that the Whitty house and car were egged while they were on holidays and their two kittens were strangled. 'I heard about it and got the blame for it,' said the youngster, who denied any part in it.

His then 15-year-old friend told the court that he was dragged out of the house by Stephen Whitty Snr and Stephen Whitty Jnr and kicked in the head and ribs. He said that Stephen Whitty Snr was involved in the assault and hit him off a pillar.

He said he got a black eye and bumps and bruises. He was treated at Wexford General and released a few hours later. His family, like the Whitty family, have since moved out of Michael J Sinnott Drive.

Ms Lalor put it to him that he saw Stephen Whitty Jnr in a row with his friend and ran out and punched Whitty in the back of the head, getting involved in a fight with him. He denied this. Andrew Cullen, a friend of both youngsters, told the court that Stephen Whitty Jnr pulled the 14-year-old off the wall that night, but both father and son were involved in the assault.

The mother of the 14-year-old said she came running out of her house when alerted by a neighbour that her son was 'getting killed'. She said she found him staggering down the road, covered in blood.

She said she also saw his 15-year-old friend being beaten by the Whittys before Stephen Snr came down and 'made a swing' at her, which she said she avoided.

She said she was abused by Whitty and alleged that he told her 'I'll burn you out of it' and that he told another neighbour, who also came out to see what was going on, 'I'll shoot you'.

'His face was so swollen they couldn't tell if his nose was broken for ten days. I was getting married three weeks later and he couldn't get into a photo,' she said.

She accepted Ms Lalor's assertion that her son was involved in anti-social behaviour and gardaí had to call to her home about him on more than one occasion.

However, she told Ms Lalor that ' a 41-year-old shouldn't be beating up a 14-year-old'.

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