Man who attacked and headbutted stranger for no reason jailed for a year

A man who accosted a stranger on the street with a broken glass and headbutted him for no reason in 2015 has been jailed for one year.
Man who attacked and headbutted stranger for no reason jailed for a year

Daryl Coyle (30) subjected Magdi Mustafa Rashid to a “terrifying” assault that was completely unprovoked, Judge Pauline Codd said today as she handed down a three year sentence with the final two years suspended.

“The victim was an innocent man who sustained a broken nose as a result of the actions of the accused,” the judge said.

Coyle, formerly of Kippure Park, Finglas, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Mr Rashid at South Richmond Street on May 5, 2015. Another count of producing a broken glass was taken into consideration by the court.

The court heard Mr Rashid had been visiting a friend in the area and left their home in the early hours of the morning. He stopped at an ATM to get money when he was approached by three men, including Coyle.

One of the men started shouting at him, before Coyle smashed a pint glass off the wall behind Mr Rashid and approached him with the broken glass in his hand. He then headbutted Mr Rashid to the face, causing him to fall to the ground.

The three men then walked off “in no rush”, the court heard. They were so slow to leave the area that Mr Rashid was able to point them out in the distance to gardaí who arrived at the scene a few minutes later.

Coyle was arrested but was so intoxicated that he wasn't fit to be interviewed for several hours. When interviewed, he said he had been drunk but hadn't assaulted anyone.

He said he was wearing a different colour top to the one he had on during the incident and when shown CCTV footage, said he did not recognise himself. He took a trial date but eventually pleaded guilty.

Ms Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting told the court that Mr Rashid, then aged 54, had previously lived in a number of countries but counted Ireland as one of his favourite locations until this incident. He considered leaving the country for good in the wake of the attack, which he said was “terrifying”.

He suffered a broken nose and nasal problems for some time afterwards. He said the assault “destroyed him because he didn't know how to deal with it at his age”, Ms Small told the court.

Coyle has 37 previous convictions, including two for assault causing harm. Some of these convictions were handed down in the wake of the assault on Mr Rashid.

Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, said Coyle had a difficult childhood and his father was physically abusive. He said Coyle had alcohol and drug problems and was self-medicating with steroids at the time of the assault. These have been found to increase anger issues, the court heard.

Mr Le Vert said Coyle has worked in various jobs but suffered periods of homelessness. He has recently secured social housing, which is at risk of being taken away in the event of him being jailed.

Judge Codd said the issue of Coyle's housing situation was not a burden that should be placed on the court. “Whatever sentence he gets, it's because of his own behaviour,” she said.

She handed down a three year sentence and suspended the final two years on a number of conditions, including that Coyle be of good behaviour for two years upon his release.

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