Sunday 25 August 2019

Homeless man broke garda's hand and said he would give him Aids

Sean Friel of Camden Hall Hostel. Charged with assault and obstruction.
Photo: Tony Gavin 20/12/2016
Sean Friel of Camden Hall Hostel. Charged with assault and obstruction. Photo: Tony Gavin 20/12/2016
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A young homeless man broke a garda's hand with a kick after officers arrived at a disturbance at a hostel and found him acting like a "caged lion".

Sean Friel (26) also punched through a window and threatened to flick blood at a garda and "give him Aids", a court heard.

Judge Bryan Smyth found him guilty of assault and garda obstruction and adjourned sentencing to a later date.

Friel had denied the charges and his lawyer claimed the accused was beaten by officers in a garda car afterwards.

Dublin District Court heard gardai were called to an incident at Grantham Mews Hostel, Grantham Place, Dublin 8, on February 20 last year.

They went into a room where the TV had been pulled from the wall and the accused was pacing up and down in a "very agitated state".

Reserve garda Craig Wade said Friel was telling staff: "I am going to f***ing kill you for calling them scumbags."

He then called the gardai "murdering b******s" and said he was going to kill them.

Gda Brian Gillan said Friel was "pacing up and down like a caged lion" and there were eight to nine people in the room, cowering away from the accused "lest he lash out".

"He walked to the window and punched his fist straight through," Gda Gillan said.

"He received lacerations up to his wrist, and there was quite a lot of blood coming from his hand.

"He gestured to me as if to flick the blood at me and he said, 'I'll give you Aids, you c**t'."

Friel then picked up an ashtray with his other hand and began swinging it wildly towards the gardai.

"As I reached down to assist, Sean Friel looked up, saw me and tried to kick me in the face. I put my hand up to stop it and in the course of that, my hand was broken," Gda Gillan said.


He suffered a broken bone in his hand as well as bruised bones and torn ligaments and was unable to work for three months.

The court heard Friel had 83 previous convictions for offences including assault and violent behaviour. He had been homeless for 10 years following an "extremely disrupted childhood".

Judge Smyth said it was a serious matter. He adjourned the case at the request of the defence for the accused to bring documents to court in mitigation.

He warned that Friel was likely to get a prison sentence.

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