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Irish killer and pal to be deported following Sydney attack in which man’s ear was cut off

Farrell’s defence barrister, Peter Kondich, said his client had “changed his personality while behind bars”

Joe and Rosie Dolan

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Two Irishmen who admitted their role in a brutal attack at a Sydney apartment block two years ago that left the victim’s ear severed will be deported when they are released from prison.

Convicted killer Patrick Farrell and John Dunlea had 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.

An image of the bloody crime scene shows Mr Solan slumped on the floor of the apartment building following the attack.

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.

Both men appeared at the NSW District Court in person for a sentence hearing on Monday where Crown prosecutor Deone Provera told the court both men should receive a “large backdate” of their sentences after spending almost three years behind bars.

Barrister Michael Ainsworth, told the court his client, Dunlea had been in custody for two years, 11 months and three days.

“He indicated his plea at an early time and he’s done every day of what sentence he would have got,” Mr Ainsworth told the court.

Oliver Solan was left injured in the hallway

He said Dunlea and Farrell’s offending occurred on a “lower tier”, as they did not stab Mr Solan.

“He’s going to be deported as his visa was cancelled,” Mr Ainsworth said.

“If he is released, he will be taken to immigration and sent back to Ireland.”

Farrell’s defence barrister, Peter Kondich, said his client had “changed his personality while behind bars”.

Mr Kondich told the court Farrell has been working hard and began learning Spanish while in custody but is also subject to deportation.

He asked Judge Pauline David to take into account the length of time Farrell has spent in custody.

It took police months and multiple arrest warrants to track down Farrell, who is originally from Co Kildare. He was arrested more than four months after Solan (30) was attacked remained in custody on remand since his arrest in 2020.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 on Dolan who died in hospital 10 days later.

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

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.

Joe and Rosie Dolan

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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