Judge Sarah Berkeley described the broad day light assault by Aiman Khalel (40) of Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin as “shocking and vicious”.
The victim was struck three times around the head and hand with the steering wheel lock which Khalel had pulled from the victim's car.
The assault arose from a dispute about overtaking when both drivers were pulling into the same lane of traffic coming up to a junction on Clanbrassil Street Upper in the city.
Khalel was convicted after a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court earlier this month of assault causing harm at Clanbrassil Street, Dublin city on September 12, 2018. He was also convicted of production of a wheel lock during a dispute.
The jury returned unanimous verdicts after just over three hours of deliberations. Khalel had pleaded not guilty to the charges and does not accept the jury verdicts.
Detective Garda Shane Monaghan told the court that when the two men got out of their vans after the dispute about each other's driving and began shouting at each other. The victim got into his car and tried to leave but Khalel reached in through the passenger window and began punching the victim.
He then grabbed a wheel lock from the floor of the victim's car. The victim got out of his car and Khalel swung the weapon repeatedly at him, striking his head, chin and finger.
A witness called gardai and Dt Gda Monaghan said that when he arrived he found the two men standing there. The victim was bleeding from the head and chin and was brought to hospital where he stayed for around four days.
Khalel later presented voluntarily for questioning and told gardai that he trying to protect himself.
His defence counsel Pieter Le Vert BL told the court that his client didn't wish the extent of the injuries suffered and he was sorry about that.
Judge Berkeley said this was a “shocking vicious assault” during the day which arose out of “a minor road rage incident”.
She noted the victim has had to have surgery multiple times on his finger and received stitches to his head wound.
She noted that Libyan born Khalel has lived here for 17 years and his previous convictions are for minor road traffic matters and he has no history of violent convictions.
She noted that he co-operated with gardaí and has not come to any garda attention since this incident.
She suspended the last year of a three-year prison sentence on condition that Khalel engage with the Probation Service for a year after his release. She said in particular he must address his anger management, noting that “it's an issue when he reacts like this in broad daylight to an innocent citizen”.