Man robbed under town bridge by ‘ambitious student’

Queen Elizabeth Bridge

A 17-year-old has been ordered to stay away from the man he assaulted and robbed for the next two years.
The defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared before Enniskillen Youth Court on Wednesday charged with the robbery of a pouch of tobacco. A second charge of common assault was withdrawn.
The court heard that on 19th July last at 7.10pm police were alerted to an assault under the East Bridge in Enniskillen. Alex Quinn sustained face, hand and knee injuries in the attack. He told police that he had been walking under the bridge when he came upon a group of youths.
The defendant approached him and accused him of stealing tobacco from his cousin. Mr Quinn was then kicked in the face and head, sustaining cuts and bruising. During the altercation he also had tobacco taken from him.
Police later located the defendant at 8.30pm and arrested him on suspicion of assault and robbery. He was identified by the injured party by an identity parade.
Defence barrister Stefan Rafferty said of his client, who was 16 at the time of the incident: “He saw the wrong in what he had done and has stood up to face the music. He has no criminal record so coming before the court in front of judges has been a salutary experience for him. He was with a group of young lads and an argument broke out with the defendant claiming that the injured party had taken tobacco from his cousin. He believed that he was taking back what was taken from his cousin but he knows that he shouldn’t have done this in the manner that he did. ”
Mr Rafferty said his client was studying for his GCSEs at college and hoped to pursue a career in childcare. “He is an ambitious young man who has aspirations to better himself,” he added.
A Public Prosecution Service official said the injured party had concerns about possible contact between the pair in the future.
Sentencing the youth, Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers said: “You are still so very young and have your whole life ahead of you. I hope that you move on from this experience and grab every opportunity that comes your way.”
He was given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay his victim £200 compensation. A two year restraining order was also imposed.

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