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prison time Homeless man who repeatedly stamped on head of another homeless man is jailed for 3 years

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A homeless man who repeatedly stamped on the head of an unconscious homeless man and knocked out his false teeth in the process has been jailed for three years.

Keith Devine (26) then went through the pockets of the other homeless man who he had knocked unconscious during an assault in which he punched the victim eight times.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that following the assault there was blood coming from the victim's tear ducts.

Devine of no fixed abode pleaded guilty to assault causing harm in a lane way at Glovers Alley, Dublin 2, on June 4, 2020. He has 28 previous convictions, including convictions for possession of drugs and public order offences.

Passing sentence, Judge Melanie Greally sentenced Devine to four years imprisonment, but suspended the final 12 months on strict conditions including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months post release.

Judge Greally backdated the sentence to when Devine first went into custody in June 2020.

At a previous sentencing hearing, Garda Jordan Kennedy told Katherine McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that the assault occurred in a laneway very close to St Stephen's Green where the accused and his partner were living in a tent.

Gda Kennedy said another homeless man in his 40's approached the tent and started speaking to the people inside. Devine exited the tent, exchanged words with the other man and an altercation ensued.

Devine attempted to headbutt the other homeless man and then punched him eight times. The victim was knocked unconscious and fell to the ground.

The accused stamped on the victim's head five times, knocking the victim's false teeth out of his mouth in the process. Devine moved the victim off of the road where he had fallen and then went through his pockets, though he did not steal anything from the unconscious man.

The occupants of a passing car witnessed the incident and contacted gardaí, who arrived and arrested Devine. The victim was brought to a hospital to treat a head wound he sustained during the assault.

The victim made a statement the following day in which he said he had a poor recollection of events and noted that there was blood coming from his tear ducts following the assault. The victim discharged himself from hospital before he received full medical treatment.

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Gda Kennedy agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that his client told gardaí he perceived an attack on him from the victim. He agreed his client later apologised and accepted his actions had been “disproportionate”.

Mr Spencer said his client's partner was pregnant at the time of the assault, but that she later suffered a miscarriage.

Counsel said his client began taking tablets and cannabis as a teenager, but this later progressed to his becoming addicted to heroin. He said his client has worked with his father on a fishing boat in the past and this work is available to him again if he can become clean of drugs.

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