Attacker's plea | 

Infamous Irish killer and pal plead guilty to Sydney attack in which man’s ear was cut off

Police say Oliver Solan was then stabbed multiple times before Farrell fled the building

Patrick Farrell and (inset) victim Oliver Solan

Patrick Farrell

Farrell was caught on camera punching another man in an Australian beer garden

Joe and Rosie Dolan

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Convicted killer Patrick Farrell and another Irishman have pleaded guilty to their role in the brutal attack on a man at a Sydney apartment block two years ago that left the victim’s ear severed.

Farrell and John Dunlea have pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm after fellow Irishman Oliver Solan was allegedly set upon by a group of up to five people at the Randwick apartment on August 29, 2020.

Solan was found half-conscious in the hallway on the second floor of the apartment block with stab wounds and a severed ear.

Farrell and Dunlea both pleaded guilty to the charge of cause grievous bodily harm in company while being reckless as to causing actual bodily harm.

They appeared from prison via video link in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Friday.

Police claim Farrell was called to the apartment block by a group of friends who had become involved in an altercation with Mr Solan.

Farrell arrived at the apartment complex about 8.30pm and was let in by one of the friends.

Patrick Farrell

Police say Mr Solan was then stabbed multiple times before Farrell fled the building.

A sentence hearing date for Farrell and Dunlea has been set for December 12.

It took police months and multiple arrest warrants to track down Farrell, who has remained in custody on remand since his arrest in 2020.

Farrell, originally from Co Kildare, had been arrested in January of that year, more than four months after another Solan (30) was allegedly attacked by four men in the suburb of Randwick.

However, it is not the first time Farrell has ended up in the dock for a violent crime,.

In April 2013, he was sentenced to seven years in prison, with three-and-a-half suspended, for an unprovoked assault that led to the death of Co Leitrim biomedical student Andrew Dolan (20).

CCTV evidence shown to Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court showed Andrew putting his hands out pleading " don't hit me" before Farrell hit him twice, critically injuring him.

After serving his sentence in Ireland, Farrell ended up in Australia where he continued to commit violent criminal acts.

During a previous court appearance, a court heard how Farrell’s victim, Solan suffered a punctured spleen and severed ear before he was discovered in a pool of blood in the apartment corridor.

Police charged Farrell with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after the 31-year-old was arrested at his lawyer’s office in Parramatta.

Farrell, who had pleaded not guilty, was due before Downing Centre Local Court earlier this month to be arraigned ahead of a trial when his defence lawyer told the court he expected his client to be changing his plea.

“A few weeks ago the crown made a plea offer to the defendant, which is accepted,” he told the court.

He applied for the matter to be adjourned so the plea deal can be accepted by the Officer of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Farrell was caught on camera punching another man in an Australian beer garden

Acting Judge Graeme Henson said there should have been “more commitment” from the DPP in getting the matter ready for court.

“The court has a reasonable expectation Mr Farrell would be on screen and arraigned and entering a plea,” Judge Henson said. “Disappointing, yet again.”

Police allege that Farrell went to an apartment building in Randwick, where his friends lived, after they got into an altercation with the alleged victim.

After Farrell arrived at the apartment complex at about 8.30pm he was let in by one of the friends.

Police say Farrell then fled the building after Mr Solan was then stabbed multiple times.

Four months and multiple arrest warrants later, Farrell was caught and he has remained in custody on remand since his arrest.

Questions were raised over how he was allowed to enter Australia after it was revealed that he had fled Ireland after spending more than three years behind bars over the 2011 assault that led to the death of student Andrew Dolan (20) who died in hospital 10 days later.

Joe and Rosie Dolan

The Home Affairs department website states that anyone who has had a jail sentence of more than a year cannot enter Australia.

In April 2013, Farrell was sentenced to seven years in prison, with three-and-a-half suspended, for the unprovoked assault on Dolan.

Crucially, however, the suspended period of his manslaughter sentence was not reactivated - leaving him free to somehow later gain entry to Australia where he has allegedly committed a series of violent offences.

In September 2021 Farrell was given a two-year-sentence at a hearing in Sydney after pleading guilty to assault causing harm to a man over a pub attack in the city in November 2019.

After he was apprehended by Australian police in December 2020 admitted to hitting a 56-year-old man knocking him unconscious at a Matraville pub beer garden.

He entered a guilty plea to the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm charge at Waverley Local Court in Sydney.

Police allege there was an argument between Farrell and the victim before punching him unconscious.

Police were still searching for Farrell in relation to the punching incident when they arrested him in his lawyer’s office on September 30, 2020.

Speaking after news broke that Farrell was on the run in Australia, Andrew Dolan’s father told the Sunday World he believed the Irish legal system should have stopped the killer leaving Ireland.

Joe Dolan’s remarks came after it emerged the suspended portion of Farrell’s sentence was not activated despite another conviction after his release from prison.

“I’m appalled to hear that … it adds insult to injury … it’s an insult to our suffering and the memory of our son.

“If he was convicted, why wasn’t he sent back to prison?” he asked

Mr Dolan described as “distressing” the news when Farrell went on the run in September.

“It’s utterly appalling that another family and relations of people have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of these assaults,” he said at the time.

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