Monday 21 May 2018

Engineer who assaulted ex-flatmate came to Ireland after his family were killed in bomb attack

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Aoife Nic Ardghail

An Egyptian engineer who says he came to Ireland after his family were killed in a bomb attack will be sentenced later for assaulting his ex-flatmate during a tenancy dispute.

Garda Paul Newport said Mina Fanous (35) had turned up at the apartment he had lived in and told the flatmate he had rights as a tenant before hitting her with the belt.

His defence counsel submitted that he had come to Ireland after his wife and child we killed in a bomb in Alexandria, although there was no documentation to prove this.

Fanous, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Jiagua Chen causing her harm, stealing her Samsung phone and causing criminal damage to her laptop at Time Place, Corrig Road, Sandyford, Dublin on April 20, 2015. He has one previous minor theft conviction for which he was fined.

Gda Newport told Sinead McMullan BL, prosecuting, that Fanous had lost his job at Dell months before the incident and that he had initially moved out of the flat due to problems paying rent.

Ms Chen had expected a friend to call over when she opened the door to Fanous on April 20 last year.

Ms Chen fled the premises after being belted in the face, but returned a short time later with her friend to find Fanous on the sofa.

Fanous left the address when confronted by the women. Ms Chen then realised her phone was gone and her laptop had been thrown out the window.

Gda Newport said Fanous made admissions in interview but claimed the assault was self-defense.

He agreed with Fiona Pekaar BL, defending, that Fanous told gardaí he had been living out of B&Bs before his arrest.

He further agreed that Fanous had never been able to retrieve any of his belongings, which included his passport and certificates, from the apartment.

Ms Pekaar submitted to Judge Melanie Greally that her client had a masters degree in electrical engineering, though she had no access to documents to back that up.

Counsel said Fanous came to Ireland in 2012 with a work visa for Dell and that he wished to remain in the country.

Judge Greally remanded Fanous in custody until next week so he could secure accommodation to be released on bail.

She said she intended to grant Fanous bail pending sentence so that he could collect as much documentation as possible on his background. The judge said she also wanted to know what had happened to his personal belongings.

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