'Large set of headphones' saved young assault victim from serious injuries
Simon Keena (29) drunkenly lashed out with a bag of bottles after the victim ignored him when he started talking to him.
Judge Anne Watkin said Keena could have killed the man, and was "lucky he wasn't facing more serious charges".
She ordered an updated probation report and adjourned sentencing to January.
The defendant admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to assaulting the young man as he was walking home on April 23 last year.
Gda Fabian Dunne said the victim was walking through Dun Laoghaire village when Keena approached him.
Gda Dunne said Keena became verbally abusive but the injured party ignored him.
The officer said Keena then swung an item at him, hitting him on the head.
Gda Dunne said the victim thought the item was a plastic bag containing cans.
The officer said the bag, which it transpired contained plastic bottles and paperwork, knocked the victim's headphones off his head. A passer-by went to his aid.
Gda Dunne said the victim was wearing "a large set of headphones" which helped protect his head and saved him from an injury.
He said Keena, of Bentley House, Dun Laoghaire, was highly intoxicated at the time.
Defence lawyer Kim Moloney said father-of-one Keena has battled a heroin addiction since he was 13.
She also said he was in a coma for a year and was paralysed from the neck down after he took contaminated heroin.
Ms Moloney said Keena is now stabilised on methadone.
The court heard Keena has also had a problem with alcohol, though he said he has not had a drink in over a month.
Keena told the court he took drugs and drank to excess to "block the pain of things in the past".
Ordering Keena, who is on disability, to work with the probation services, Judge Watkin said she believed he could "turn his life around".