Man given time to compensate victim after hostel assault

Incident was result of ‘powder keg’ situation created by sharing of tiny room

Judge John Lindsay said he would strike out the case if the accused brought €300 to court for the victim in January.

Judge John Lindsay said he would strike out the case if the accused brought €300 to court for the victim in January.

 

A homeless hostel resident has been given a chance to avoid a fine and conviction for what was described as a “nasty” attack on his roommate.

Paul Behan, 47, of Amiens St, Dublin 1, punched the man as he lay on his bed and continued attacking him, resulting in a brief loss of consciousness.

The father of one pleaded guilty on Thursday to assault causing harm on March 13th, 2020.

Judge John Lindsay heard that Behan was staying at a Simon Community hostel on Harcourt Street in the city.

Gardaí observed that the victim, 52, was injured and had an “open wound” with a bloody right eye.

The injured man stated he had been lying on his bed when he was punched to his head.

He went downstairs to report it but was kicked in the head.

He lost consciousness briefly and had bruises over his left ear and a cut over his right eye, which he stated were caused by various punches and kicks to the head area.

Behan fled before gardaí arrived, but Garda Natasha Reid arrested him six days later.

The injured man did not want to provide a victim impact statement.

Defence solicitor Michelle Gildernew acknowledged that it was a “nasty” incident.

Behan and the victim shared a tiny room, and it was something of a “powder keg situation of grown men in a confined space”.

She told the court it led to difficulties, and Behan had a grievance.

The court also heard he had a cannabis problem and was “in and out of hostels for the past few years”.

He worked all his adult life and was in England for 17 years. But returning to Ireland five years ago after a relationship breakdown, he could not find work or somewhere to live.

The court heard he is doing better now and has quit cannabis.

He was able to pay some compensation but was in straitened circumstances, the solicitor said.

Judge Lindsay said he would strike out the case if Behan brought €300 to court for the victim in January. Otherwise, he will be convicted and fined on top of having to pay the compensation.