Attacked man who had flooded the flat above

today in court 0700000000

By Brion Hoban

A man who used an iron bar to strike another man who had caused water damage to his apartment has received a fully suspended sentence.

Paul Murray (41) struck Josh Byrne (29) in the head with an iron bar while he was being led away from the scene by gardaí following his arrest for a criminal damage.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Byrne was home alone when he turned on all the taps in an apartment, causing water damage to Murray’s apartment directly beneath.

Murray now of Lower Bridge Street, Dublin 8 pleaded guilty to production of a metal bar in the course of a dispute at St Annes Square, Blackrock, on February 2, 2021. His 30 previous conviction, include robbery and road traffic offences.

Byrne of no fixed abode last month received a two year fully suspended sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of criminal damage at the same location on the same date.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Melanie Greally said she would deal with the matter as a case where things seemed to “bubble over” and Murray lost control and acted “disgracefully”.

Judge Greally said it was a case where there was “a very high degree of antagonism” by Byrne. She said Byrne seemed to be “largely responsible” for the tensions between the two men.

She said Byrne sustained a laceration to his head, but that it could have been a lot more serious.

Judge Greally sentenced Murray to two years imprisonment, but suspended the sentence in its entirety on strict conditions.

Garda Stephen Byrne told Jane Murphy BL, prosecuting, that on the night in question, he received a call to attend at the apartment block to assist his colleagues with an incident of criminal damage.

Gda Byrne said when he arrived to the scene, Byrne was handcuffed and being led down the stairs of the apartment building by other gardaí. He said that as he was making his way up the stairs towards them, he saw Murray emerge from his apartment and run towards Byrne.

Murray hit Byrne on the top of the head with a metal bar he was holding in his hand. As Byrne fell to the ground, Murray also kicked him in the face.

Gardaí shouted at Murray to drop the bar and he did so, but continued to act aggressively towards the victim. Byrne later declined to make a statement of complaint against Murray.

In interview with gardaí, Murray explained that Byrne had turned on all the taps in the apartment above him, causing water to leak down and damage his own apartment. He said he had had previous issues with the victim and had called gardaí on him before.

Gda Byrne agreed with Cathal McGreal BL, defending, that while his client had a serious history of offending at a certain time in his life, for some years he had not been of concern to gardaí.

The garda agreed with counsel that his client did not use any violence even in his serious convictions as a young man. He agreed Murray gave an accurate account of the background of the events when interviewed by gardaí and apologised for what he did.

Mr McGreal said his client “immediately” knew what he did was wrong. He said his client is a long-term methadone dependent person and has been clean of drugs for “a very long time”.

Counsel said his client’s partner and brother were in court to support him. He said his client had a 17-year-old son.

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