‘I am a sick person’: Riad Bouchaker (50) charged with attempted murder of three children in Parnell Square stabbings
December 21, 2023
The attack, on November 23, led to protests in the city that erupted into rioting
One girl (5) was left fighting for her life after the stabbing. She is still being treated in hospital. Two other children were released from hospital.
A creche worker from Dublin was also seriously injured during the incident on Parnell Square, on the city’s north side, on the afternoon of November 23.
Riad Bouchaker (50), of no fixed abode, was brought before Judge Bryan Smyth at Dublin District Court this afternoon.
Evidence was given by Detective Sergeant Padraig Cleary, who outlined how the accused was arrested at Mountjoy garda station at 12.51 pm today.
The accused listened to the proceedings with the help of an Arabic interpreter after communicating that “I do not understand”.
He did not address the court during the rest of the ten-minute minute hearing.
Judge Smyth had the garda witness restart, giving evidence to ensure the man understood.
Det Sgt Cleary said the accused made “no reply” when charged with “attempted murder of a female child”.
Mr Bouchaker’s reply to a second charge for attempted murder of a second female child was “I am a sick person”.
The court heard he had no response when charged with the attempted murder of a male child.
He had “no response” when charged with assault causing harm to another male child and a girl.
The court also heard he had no response when charged with causing serious harm to a care worker.
He had no reply when charged with assault, causing harm to a French national at the scene.
The final charge was for the production of a 36-centimetre kitchen knife, and in reply to that offence, he told gardaí: “I am a sick person.”
There was a garda application to remand him in custody. The defence barrister said: “Due to the nature of the charges, we cannot advance a bail application.”
The District Court does not have the power to consider a bail application in an attempted murder case, which requires a High Court application.
Judge Smyth remanded him in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court by video link on December 28.
Legal aid was granted after a statement of the defendant’s means was handed into court.
The court noted that Mr Bouchaker, dressed in a green jacket, black jumper, dark trousers and slippers, required medical attention.
Det Sgt Cleary confirmed a list of the defendant’s medication had already been sent electronically to the medical section in Cloverhill Prison.
Judge Smyth acceded to a defence request to direct “appropriate medical attention” in custody.
The defence lawyer also made an application, which he described as “a little unusual”, for Mr Bouchaker’s legal team not to be identified in media reports.
He explained that this was because of “safety concerns” and “after what occurred around the city”, adding there were concerns for the safety of those involved with Mr Bouchaker.
Det Sgt Cleary supported the request and said it had already been discussed and “deemed suitable”.
Judge Smyth acceded and told reporters they must not name the members of the man’s legal team.
Mandatory reporting restrictions under section 93 of the Children Act already apply to media coverage regarding the injured children, who cannot be identified.
The legislation states: “No report shall be published or included in a broadcast which reveals the name, address or school of any child concerned in the proceedings or includes any particulars likely to lead to the identification of any child concerned in the proceedings.”