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'Powder keg' Hostel resident who kicked and punched roommate must pay compo or face jail

Paul Behan had been sharing a room in a 'powder keg' situation ahead of the assault

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Stock photo.

Stock photo.

Stock photo.

A HOMELESS hostel resident has been given a chance to avoid jail and a conviction for 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 today to assault causing harm on March 13, 2020.

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

Gardai 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 gardai 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."

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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.

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