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Man sentenced for unprovoked attack with pool cue on two tourists at Dublin hostel

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm.

A MAN WHO carried out an unprovoked attack on two tourists at a Dublin hostel has been given a three and a half year sentence.

Paul Maguire (32) of Nicholas Avenue, Church Street, Dublin , pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of assault causing harm at the Generator Hostel on Smithfield Square on June 1, 2016.

One of the victims, an English tourist who was hit in the face with a pool cue said the experience had “tainted his view” of Ireland. He suffered a deep scar on his chin and was “apprehensive” about returning to this country.

The second victim, a Finnish woman also holidaying in Dublin, was also left with a scar from the pool cue on her forehead which causes her embarrassment.

‘Outburst of impatience and anger’

Judge Melanie Greally condemned the assault as an “outrageous outburst of impatience and anger on two completely unsuspecting people” who had just arrived in the country.

The judge noted that neither victim wished to accept the sum of €5,000 which Maguire had brought to court as a practical expression of remorse and ordered the money be paid over to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

Judge Greally had adjourned finalisation of sentencing to yesterday to allow a probation report be prepared.

She noted difficult personal circumstances outlined in the report, that he had employment prospects on his release and that he had a “pro-social” partner.

The judge imposed a three-and-a-half year sentence and suspended the final year on strict conditions.

Garda Michael Lennon told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that the two victims had arrived separately in Ireland from Finland and London in the days preceding the assault.

They had not known one another beforehand but met up at the Generator Hostel and went for dinner at the Brazen Head pub.

The woman told gardaí that after eating, the pair returned to the hostel where they began chatting to a number of people who were waiting their turn to play pool.

She said she remembered being struck with something, seeing half a pool cue and blood all over the floor, and holding her head.

The male victim said he heard one of the pool players saying “Fuck this,” before he was also struck on the face with a pool cue.

The pool players left the hostel and gardaí later identified the accused man on CCTV.

Both victims were taken to the Mater Hospital where the woman was treated for a superficial forehead wound.

The man had suffered a 4cm deep wound to his chin which required stitches and caused him pain for days.

Maguire has 26 previous convictions, including for drugs, firearms and public order offences.

In a victim impact statement, the English man said his experience had “tainted his view of this country” and that he was “apprehensive about returning”. The court heard he worked as a teacher and his scar did not look appropriate, so he had had to grow a beard to hide it.

Garret McCormack BL, defending, offered a sincere apology on behalf of Maguire who said he had been on a “three-day bender” of alcohol and illicit substances.

The court heard that Maguire and his partner have a one-year-old daughter. Judge Greally commented that “nasty as the injuries were, they could have been a lot worse”.

She said she would take Maguire’s offer of €5,000 as a mitigating factor, notwithstanding the victims’ refusal to accept the money.

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Jessica Magee

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