Boy (6) said his eyeball ‘was nearly popped out’ by granny in attack
Andrew Phelan –
20th June 2022
AN elderly woman attacked a six-year-old boy by grabbing his throat and pinching his eye because she thought her granddaughter was being bullied.
The boy said the 71-year-old neighbour “strangled” him with one hand while her two-fingered pinch with the other “nearly popped his eyeball out”.
Dublin District Court heard the grandmother believed children were teasing her grandchild when she “lost control” of her emotions on the street near her home.
Finding her guilty and fining her €250, Judge Conal Gibbons said what she did was illegal and “singularly inappropriate” but the victim was not seriously injured.
The accused had denied assaulting the boy while he was out playing during his school holidays in June 2017.
“She came over to me and pinched my eye, she strangled my neck with one hand,” the boy said. It “nearly popped my eyeball out.”
He felt pain in his eye and neck afterward. Now aged 11, he denied that the woman only “gave out” to him and his brother who she said was “teasing” her granddaughter.
A witness said she saw the accused approach the boy and put her hand towards his face before he ran away.
The prosecution said the accused got so upset when she saw children at play “excluding” her granddaughter, she could not control how she felt.
The accused in evidence said boys were laughing at her granddaughter, she decided to tell them off and insisted she only waved her finger at the boy and said “no” to him. She denied making any contact.
The boy’s mother said the assault “completely knocked his confidence,” he was afraid to go out on his own and stopped playing with other children on the road.
He was still apprehensive when he saw the accused in the shops and tried to hide from her.
The accused, who had no previous convictions, was “particularly close” to her granddaughter, the defence said.
Judge Gibbons said the woman thought she was doing the right thing by her granddaughter but she got annoyed and “let herself down”.
It was “singularly inappropriate that an adult should use physical means to remonstrate with and chastise a child,” he said.